Normally when we go on a bike ride we like to ride as much as we can. Ten miles is a disappointment. Fifteen miles is a start. Twenty miles and we’re on our way. But today we were happy with six miles. We had an additional appendage to my bicycle. A trailer. With a small and royal Queen riding regally inside. We started the bike ride with a trip to Red Lobster to meet UT and AC. And the Queen was fascinated with the “sea monsters”, the “mobsters” or the “crabs”. She wasn’t sure which to call them. But she liked them. And she wanted to reach in for them.
After lunch we headed for the bike trail. Once we unloaded the car and loaded up the bikes we headed out in to the hot sun. It was all new to her. What an adventurer she is. And what a friendly little soul. We really should pay more attention to three year olds. They could teach us a lot about how to act towards one another. When we stopped at the playground she made a straight line to where other kids were. In the sand pit. I guided her away only because I was trying to avoid getting her all sandy. And then have to put her itchy little self back in the bike trailer. So I guided her to the playground equipment to explore. And she did. And every child she came across she spoke to, said “hello”, and stated she wanted to play. One little man stood in front of her, he was maybe 2 or 3 inches taller than her. She stepped up to him. He smiled. He was a vampire! She expressed NO fear. And stepped closer. She reached out thinking she was just going to reach in his mouth and get those vampire teeth. When the germaphobe grandparents both screeched NO! We both commented about his shark shirt and his vampire teeth though to lighten the impact of the screams. He obviously has parents because we didn’t phase him one little bit.
Then she ran hither and fro. The sun was baking us. But her little eyes were wide and wider with everything she saw. At last I gave in to the sand pit. And Miss Social Butterfly headed right for a little girl and picked up a toy. I said her name and told her not to take the other little girls toys. The other little girl immediately used the Queen’s name and asked her if she wanted to make mud pies. The Queen was all for that. But wasn’t quite sure what that meant. So the little girl, named Ali, gave very child like, and yet very patient instructions. It was wonderful. They were nice to one another. And respectful. And they did not have fear of one another.
I was fearful the children were going to fight. Or other parents wouldn’t want stranger children playing together. How sad that is. That I thought that. And that the world is like that. I know I was close to being a cog in teaching her mistrust and fear today. But they did play. And I just watched as little Ali talked to the little Queen. It was sweet. It was simple. And why can’t we all act like that?
Mamo and Po were about baked through when I pulled her from the play ground. I can ride for hours in the sun. But I can’t stand still in it for thirty minutes.
We pack the bikes back up and head for the swinging bridge. Little Dora the Explorer got out of the bike trailer and headed right for the bridge saying “what’s that”. We tried to see fish. But we couldn’t. I told her to be careful. So the first twenty steps on to the bridge had her little shoulders hunched, her hands out guardedly and with each of those twenty steps she quietly uttered “careful….careful…careful”. Until she felt safe enough to walk without the mantra.
Back off of the bridge I plied her with Peppermint Patty fortification. And juice. And as cotton puffies from the trees swirled around us Po tried to get her to catch puffies. She preferred stomping on them.
Back to the bikes.
Back to the car.
Over to Dairy Queen for an “I cone” for her, cone for Po, and of course a Carmel Cheesequake Blizzard for me.
I picked up my bike computer that I had placed in the dash of my car. I told Po we had done a full six miles. Po said “I wouldn’t trade those six miles for anything”.
Me either. Not even for a hundred and fifty mile day.