A Boy and His Bicycle
From Mom’s perspective and then the boy himself.
This morning, I stopped at a crosswalk to let a pack of young boys on their bicycles cross the street. Out of the blue, I got hit with a wave of sadness and almost made a U-turn to go back home.
Images of different versions of my son flashed through my mind — the kindergartner just learning to ride…the pre-teen who relied on his bike to get him everywhere he wanted to go…and the young man who eventually lost interest in a two-wheeler after getting his driver’s license and gaining access to a car.
Now my boy has patchy facial hair, towers over me by several inches, and lives with a group of friends. But today at that crosswalk, I could see him clear as day, riding his bike to the public pool with a beach towel wrapped around his neck and a pair of Adidas slides on his feet that never seemed to fit properly.
With summer in full swing, I find myself missing those days gone by more than usual, reflecting often on a time when life was more hectic but when I got to see my kids every day. When they were younger, I knew what they were up to (mostly), and I was an integral part of their lives. Everything is different now that they’re grown. Although I’d still say that we’re close, text messages and phone calls have become our primary sources of connection. I’m grateful that we still have that.
A message from the past — perfectly timed and etched on my heart.
It’s not always easy to dismiss a memory that stops you in your tracks so abruptly. But I tried my best to shake off the vision of those biker boys to avoid falling down a rabbit hole and wallowing in the loneliness of my empty nest. I forged ahead with my day, but couldn’t help pulling out the scrapbooks when I returned to my house.
As I scoured through old photos and reminisced about my kids when they were little, a piece of white paper slipped from between the pages of one of those books. I was surprised to see that it was a draft of one of my son’s high school essays. I’d read it before but had forgotten all about it. As I sat down to read it again, the first word that came to mind was serendipity — an accidental and fortunate discovery.