Sunday, July 30, 2006

I want to ride my bicycle....

This renovation has been an all-consuming, exhausting project that has at times caused me to forget about things like work, family, and showering. However, either through my own self-realization or with a good smack upside the head from my wonderful wife, I am getting better and managing to take a step back and enjoy the important things in life.

Yesterday was one of those important things, a majorly proud moment for daddy, up there on the list with a kid's medical school graduation, marriage, and Nobel Prize acceptance. We took the training wheels off, and Natalie is now an accomplished bicycle rider.

She and I took a jaunt over to North Park, which I believe is named not so much for it's park-like setting but it's quantity of massive and generally unused parking lots. Natalie donned her Disney Princess elbow and knee pads, buckled her Disney Princess helmet, hopped on her "Foxy" bike with the purple tassles and sparkly paint, and and I ran alongside her, holing her seat and explaining the scientific principles of balance and velocity. Within minutes, my hand moved from her seat to her back. Seconds later, I had only two fingers just below her neck, showing her I was still there. In another moment, my hand was gone, and she was still vertical. And laughing and screaming hysterically with the thrill of new-found freedom. I continued to run alongside her, sweating profusely and barely keeping up, giving her this tip and that tip and reminding her about handy things like brakes. Finally I stopped running and Off she went, into kid-hood, her training wheels, tricycle, and stroller all distant memories.

Within minutes she graduated to the next stage of bicycle riding...chatting incessantly with others while riding around. A seven-year-old girl was also riding her bike in the same parking lot, and the two of them bagan talking to each other about the colors of their bikes, the meaning of life while they rode. Yack yack yack....until finally the inevitable happened. Too much talk, not enough paying attention, and they both crashed into each other. They got up and laughed about it, and took off for more.

Enjoy it, Natalie!

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