Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The View From Two Wheels

I've been wanting to up my game a bit this week and do some special things for the kids to commemorate the last week of school. In years past, this would ALWAYS mean an edible sort of treat or special thing, but since I am trying to think like a skinny person now, I needed some new ideas.

At about 7:30 this morning, I got the brilliant idea that we should all ride our bikes to school. My kids LOVE to ride their bikes and spend most every afternoon cruising around the neighborhood. Even Sienna, with her little legs and "Let's Go! Barbie Go!" bike pedals away the afternoon. I told the kids my plan and they were ecstatic. Since my kids don't attend our neighborhood school, this meant we had a 20-25 minute ride to look forward to.

Just before 8, I went out to the garage to get everything ready. My bike was still on the rollers where I usually ride each morning and I needed to hook up the trailer to it.

This is where my plan started to tank.

I twisted and pulled and reefed and yanked on those silly knobs and I COULD NOT get them to loosen so I could unlatch my bike. I got out the pliers and pulled harder. I put on some gloves and twisted stronger. I called my husband for some words of encouragement. I could not budge those stupid knobs!

This is also where my kids started to freak out. They were SO EXCITED at the idea of riding up to school. They had gotten ready in record time and had done everything I had asked them to do. Spence was trying to help with the knobs and Hannah was taking care of Austin. She disappeared into the house for a minute and when she came back, I was finally able to loosen the knobs and free the bike. (She later told me she had gone inside to say a quick prayer that we could ride to school and that I would be strong enough to loosen the knobs. Such a sweet girl.)

Next thing you know, we're off! Austin and Sienna are in the trailer, Hannah and Spence are leading the way and I am feeling like mother of the year. We made it to the end of the street before Spencer's shoelace got stuck in his pedal and down he went. He hopped right back up (after tucking in his laces) and rode on.

About halfway through our ride, Hannah started to lag behind. At first I encouraged her to keep up but found it odd and she's usually the leader of the back. That girl is built just like her Mama which means her hind quarters are powerful and she never has trouble staying with the pack. I kept slowing down and she kept falling back and when I finally stopped to wait for her, I saw the problem.

Her back tire was completely flat. And we were no where near the school. Or our house.


Spence had circled back to see what was going on and Hannah decided to keep plugging away. I was so proud of her determination! And since I'm the idiot who forgot the pump, we really didn't have much choice. Spence rode behind Hannah and cheered her on the whole way.

"You're doing great Hannah! We're almost there! You are so strong!"

I rode in front with tears running down my face.

About a half mile from the school, Hannah couldn't go any more. Her little legs had ridden the bike as far as they could and she was exhausted. While I tried to figure out how to get Hannah and her bike into the trailer along side Squish and The Captain, Spence came up with a solution.

"I'll ride Hannah's bike to give her a break Mom and she can ride mine." He hopped down, lowered the seat for Hannah and away they went.

I watched them for a moment in complete awe at my children. Spence selflessly helped his sister in her literal hour of need, not caring that he was now going to ride up to the school in front of all of his friends on a pink ladybug bike and Hannah graciously took her brother's help. "Thanks Spence," she called, "you are the hero of the day!"

We pulled up to the school a few minutes late and after parking his bike, he came to help Hannah. They got their backpacks out of the trailer and walked hand-in-hand into the school. I followed behind with the little ones completely in love with my kids.

Today's treat was indeed the most special of all. I think I'll make some homemade peanut butter cups and celebrate my children all day long.


lindsay>boo said...

What a good day! I think it's great how you are trying to make the last week so special. We enjoyed seeing you all as we drove this morning.

Sarah said...

Wow, this literally brought tears to my eyes. I'm glad you all finally made it there safe and sound. That is pretty awesome Hannah can look up to her big brother as her hero.

Kris said...

I can't believe that you rode your bikes all the way to the school. That's so far! Good job to your kids and I bet it was the most memorable morning of their life to date! Karen, you are one great mom!

Kelly said...

There you go again, inspiring me to do something clever and fun with my kids. Your tykes will NEVER forget that trek to school, how they worked together, overcame obstacles, and how AWESOME their mom is! YOU ROCK!
Spencer is my hero too!

hatch said...

Karen you are awesome! I love this idea. This story brought tears to my eyes.

The Neff Family said...

Yeah...tears.....your kids are so dang sweet!
You are the best mom!
I love Hannah's prayer!

AOlson said...

Inspiring!! That's what you and your kids are to me!!! What a great story Karen! You are such a great family!!!

Knotaklu said...

You should congratulate yourself. Your kids today showed what great parents you and Brad are.

Dandee said...

Oh, those children of yours. They are gems.

<3 said...

I got teary on that anecdote! (And can I have a homemade peanut butter cup???)

Sara said...

Good try on the bike ride, the pb cups sound great!

Megan said...

ok, so my first favorite part of this was "trying to think like a skinny person" (i think that is where i go wrong...) i was just a chuckling.
but, you brought me to tears with this one. i LOVE that your kids care well for each other--
what wonderful traits to grow your family!

tharker said...

You really are the best mom ever!

Tiffany said...

Crap..... I am soaked!!!!!!! SO fun!!!!!! What sweet hearted kids!! Thanks so much for sharing!

Amy said...

Wow! What a good kid! You must be doing something right!

Ms. Kristen said...

Now, that could be a commercial! I pictured everything! Love those kids!

Lisa said...

That is amazing....the whole thing. First of all that you were ambitious enough to ride bikes to school...second that Hannah was such a trooper....and third that Spencer was the heroic big brother. What an incredible family :)