Friday, April 20, 2012
Last Friday, I spent the afternoon at the White Sox game for work. Where I was required, BY MY JOB, to drink a bunch of beers in plastic cups and eat a fist full of hot dogs. I would have been fired if I didn’t.
When I arrived home, I was not in the condition to put together Elijah’s birthday present: A brand new bike. But you know what? I’m a dad. Putting together your son’s first bike is a duty one does not stumble away from.
So I hoisted up my mustard stained jeans and got to work. And when I finished my project (it took roughly three times longer than a sober person to put together) I marveled at my creation.
It was a bright yellow “Jeep” brand bike, complete with graphics of mud splashes and tire tracks and other cool, Jeepy stuff. When Tom saw it, he wondered aloud why a company would put out a product meant to ride along side automobile traffic with tire tracks already on it.
Surprisingly for a child who shuns sunshine, Eli loved it. And actually requested we go out and ride. So I plopped Luca on his tricycle, and placed Eli on his bike in front of our house and went on an adventure.
He seemed to understand the concept of riding a bike, if not the actual physical mechanics. His legs were so weak from sitting in front of the TV for the first five years of his life that he was unable to ride over the cracks in our sidewalk.
“Dada! I’m stuck!” He’s shout. I’d gently kick him in his lower back to nudge him over to the next cement square. Where he’d peddle furiously to the next crack and shout, “Dada I’m stuck!”
Meanwhile, Luca would sit in his tricycle and wait patiently not peddling for me to push him up a square. His manner of chess-riding got us to the end of the block in 72 days.
At the end of the block, we saw Lincoln, the cute 4 year old boy who lives in a white house. Lincoln was peddling his tricycle back and forth.
Elijah shouted out to him, “Hey Lincoln, why are you riding a baby bike? I got a big boy bike.”
I leaned over to Eli and whispered, “First of all, what we are doing isn’t exactly riding a bike. Second, you’ve peed your pants, so I wouldn’t go throwing that “baby” label around too much.”
We spent the next several hours and most of Sunday riding back and forth on our little street. I will admit, I got a little chocked up by Eli’s leap into this world of bike riding. But it could have been a hangover.