The sounds of spring are certainly in the air.
Click. Step, step. Pedal, pedal, whir. Pedal, pedal, whir.
I look and see my son tangled in a heap with his bicycle. As I reach him, he’s nearly untangled his limbs from the handlebars and main frame of the bike.
It takes a moment, but as the dirt gets brushed off a trail oozing red starts forming from his knee and elbow.
There’s a quick explanation, punctuated by efforts to reign in tears. “I ran into that bush.”
A couple of quick breaths. Then a quick brush of the hand along his cheek.
“It was a really prickly bush and I fell.”
Conversation continues inside, while I manage to clean and bandage up the latest wounds.
I’m working to keep my cabinet fully stocked, but it’s getting harder to do as the temperatures get warmer and the days are longer.
It seems there’s a never ending need for bandages and antiseptic at the Johnson house these days.
One of the main culprits is my son and his new bike.
He’s been riding a bike for years and has been without training wheels for more than a full summer now. Having outgrown his old bike, we purchased a new one just over a month ago.
The big draw for a six-year-old – a kick stand. It was something his previous bike was lacking due to the training wheels that it came with.
Another plus for him – hand brakes as well as brakes on the pedals. Add that with some cool coloring on the bike’s frame and it was more than enough to make him itching for bike riding weather.
Something about that bike and its rider are proving to be a dangerous combination.
I don’t know if it’s the brakes, kickstand or coloring (which matches the colors of his existing bike helmet), but something about this bike makes my son think he’s Evel Knievel.
He gets so excited about riding his bike that he loses track of what’s around him.
In his initial test drive of the bike in the dead-end street running alongside our house, he was pedaling as fast as his legs could carry him, turning corners at breakneck speed.
A smile was plastered to his face as he tested the brakes, turning radius and then paused to put down the kickstand.
There was even more riding that day. He found so much joy in his bike that he totally forgot where he was and ran smack into the neighbor’s extended step of their camper parked near the street.
Luckily he was unhurt by that attempt, but in the last month his bike has acquired its own battle scars to match those on its owner’s knees and elbows, covered by bandages.
And it’s not only the bike. My son has discovered his arm strength and has mastered the monkey bars. This new skill has unleashed a newfound freedom for my young thrill seeker.
There are endless hours outside at home and the nearby park honing his skills on the different types of monkey bars.
His hands are blistered and his palms are dark with callouses from his new “hobby.”
Of course, in his quest to master the monkey bars, there are countless missteps and falls to the ground. Each with a jarring thud and a quick brush off.
It’s scary to watch for a mother. But the joy on his face when he makes it successfully to the other side puts those worries at ease.
That’s not to say I’m not stocking my cabinets and checking the most direct route to the doctor’s office or emergency room in case there’s a broken bone or serious injury along the way. I’m sure with my little dare devil it’s only a matter of time.