Sunday, July 29, 2012


In Highland Park, there is a neat bicycling park. It's got a half mile-ish outside loop, well paved, with some little hills and such. Inside of that is a smaller track with a larger open area, particularly designed for the little folks. Every once in a while, we really do like throwing the two bigger boys' bikes in the car and driving on down there to let them ride.

It's an interesting thing, because they're both right around the same level of skill on the bike. The Boy gets a little edge on his brother because he's a little taller, so he gets the bigger bike, and that makes a big difference. It's also a neat and safe way for them to explore the independence: they can travel more than a hundred yards down the open area in the middle away from me, but still be in sight and safely tucked away from traffic.

While loading the cars, Little Bear hopped on the tiny little tricycle that we bought for The Boy's second birthday. It was a little spacey for a minute, because I had quite the flashback. I remember going to toys r us to buy that - the closest TRU was down route 22, on the other side of the parkway in Newark, which was not a direction we tended to go. He and I went down there, and we tried all of the different bike and trike options that were there. He was really going ho about this cute little pink number, which I wasn't too keen on; I'm all for challenging gender roles, but I don't think that a pink trike meant for little girls was precisely what we wanted. We "settled" on a little re tricycle, a Radio Flyer.

He loved that trike. He wouldn't get on it and use the pedals; he would scoot his feet along, Flintstones-style, to get it to go places. He never learned to use the pedals; by the time he was capable of doing so, he had significantly outgrown the trike.

On Friday night we went to a Tot Shabbat at a different temple than normal; not for any other reason than we have some friends there, and it was supposed to be a picnic at the Blue Slide Park. Because of inclement weather, it was held inside the temple building. Cool thing? They have about fifteen to twenty tricycles of various sizes. The kids all skipped dinner and had this brilliant, chaotic, high speed mess of a tricycle party. One of the other parents put it brilliantly: it looked like a third world traffic situation, where - somehow - everyone kept moving and nobody got hurt.

Three years ago, we bought him a tiny red tricycle. Now? A whole different story. It's amazing how life changes, and those tiny little tricycles bring those changes into focus.

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