Susan's Blog

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Cheerful Feelings Upon Awakening in the Country

Took Nat around the pond on bikes this morning. This is about a 2-mile loop. We start with a long downhill that ends on an extremely busy street, so I have to look back at that point to be sure he is aware and braking. Once we can cross that, we are pretty much homefree for fifteen minutes.

I usually take the lead, and I glance back every so often at Nat, who is remarkably slow on his bike. He used to be very fast, but I think he now understands about how being slow gives him more control, which you need to have in a crowded city park.

I love going at around 7:30 am, though, because there are so few people there– only dog-walkers, runners, and other bikers, spaced apart very conveniently for the nervous mother rider. Nat is afraid of dogs, but he now knows to give them a wide berth, and remain calm.

As I get to the first (slight) hill, there is a nice view of the wide pond. Today we heard a goose going nuts and I pointed it out to Nat. I never know what level of conversation is exactly right for Nat. I don’t want to baby him and say, “Nat, what does a goose say?” But I would ask him that if I thought it interested him — if I thought that were his level. I don’t want to miss out on any chance of interacting, so I take the high road and I say, “Nat did you hear that goose?” I’m going to assume that he already knows all about animal sounds and that we should just focus on regular conversation.

Pushing hard on my pedals I feel the first burn in my calves and thighs. I still wonder how it is that a previously uncomfortable feeling is now one that I crave. My mind is telling me, “this is hard work!” but my body is saying, “Mmmmm, that’s an all-encompassing feeling.” No judgments.

Nat does not shift gears. I gave up on trying to teach him that one. I always set his bike to second range, 5th gear. I always ride in third range, 6th gear (the almost-hardest setting). Nothing fazes him. He goes up a hill and I can see that his body is pushing harder against his bike, but he is still smiling and chatting to himself. It sometimes sounds like he is shouting, “Hi!” That would be cool.

First really good downhill takes you close by the pond and I get a rush of good feeling, ala Beethoven’s 6th, First movement. I speak aloud, to God, and I say thanks again for this, that I get to ride my bike with Nat. I am grateful again and again that I can do this, and that every year it gets easier and easier — for my muscles and for my son.

1 comment

I know the feeling well. So great that you and Nat can bike together!

— added by Christine on Sunday, April 4, 2010 at 3:04 pm

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