Sunday, May 24, 2009
We don't have a place for bicycling around the house. The driveway is slanted, and there is no nice leveled backyard. And even though our house is on the dead end street with very little traffic, the road is still pretty steep for the little ones to go bicycling. So it is quite an effort to go bicycling with the three of them.
Forget about the times when we were able to hop on bicycles with Mirek and go for hours either to the Liberty State Park with a beautiful view of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty when we lived in Newark, or go on numerous mountain trails and enjoy the tranquility of the woods.
Then came Ivana, and she was in the bike seat at around 8 months old. So we were still able to enjoy the biking, not so much through mountains, though, but the openness of the water park was still an exciting place to be on the bicycle.
Then came Leonka, and by the time she was ready to be behind Mirek in a bike seat, Ivana was learning to be on her own with my help most of the time. So we were then taking turns going bicycling. We were not together anymore, but I enjoyed the riding by myself, I recall. The sun, the wind in my ears, and the quietness and the not being needed was very rejuvenating.
Then came Mimi, and the family bicycling trips pretty much have subsided since then. Mirek would go by himself on very rare occasions and after we let the friends' friends borrow our bicycles, the seats were broken and the bikes lives ended.
And now we have a fourth little one, and he is still in the stroller or wants to be carried most of the time (that's when the sling comes in handy). Ivana learned to go on a two wheeler last summer and needs some practice to remember and get comfortable (and they say one never forgets how to ride a bicycle...). Leona needs a push every now and then as the bike is kind of old and a bit rusty and when she goes a bit up the hill or over a bump it gets stuck. And now Mimi wants "me bisicl tuuu, me bisicl, too!!!", so that Mirek has to push her on her tricycle.
So the joyous event of family bicycling has become an activity that more resembles a chore rather than a time to relax.
But even though now we need to pack the kids and their bikes into the car, drive for a while to a more or less straight road, push them on their bicycles, chant "come on, you can do it!", or "come on, paddle harder, you can do it!", or "Mimi, keep it straight" all the time, we are still enjoying the blessing of being together and spending time with each other. I always take my camera and take pictures of flowers, trees, kids and things they do, and Mirek takes his knife and carves a boat or something else for the girls. And overall the chore part is being overlooked as we have a blast together and will be looking forward to our next mini family adventure.
And the bicycling part will come later, I guess. I have a vision, of all of us on the bikes and going on a family biking trip. That 's if my back is not completely destroyed and I keep up with our grown girls and boys...