“Life is like a ten-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use.” Charles M. Schulz
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She had a best friend who had an older sister.
This older sister taught the little girl how to ride a bike.
Everyday the little girl would go down the street to her friend’s house,
get on older sister’s bike and ride.
Oh, the joy!
The problem with this was that there was only one bike for two little girls.
They had to share which was fine except when it wasn’t.
Of course, her friend had first dibs on the bike.
It was her sister’s bike soon to be her bike.
So the little girl started her campaign to get her own bicycle.
She was told she didn’t know how to ride a bike so didn’t need one,
she was too little for a big girl bike,
there was no pavement just a dirt road to ride on,
she would get hurt,
on and on and on.
She explained about girlfriend’s older sister teaching her to ride.
How she rode a big girl bike almost everyday.
She rode on the dirt road.
Yes, she did fall sometimes and it did hurt but riding a bike was worth it.
When all her efforts to explain that she should have a big girl bike
failed to convince the powers that be, mommy and daddy,
that she really should have a big girl bike
she did what any little girl would do.
She got a bike.
Not exactly what she had in mind!
So, for most of the summer she would ride her bike,
with training wheels, down the road to her friend’s house
and take turns riding the big girl bike.
One day daddy saw her riding the big girl bike,
a bike without training wheels,
and he got very upset.
“Didn’t she know she was too little to ride a big bike?!”
When I was a kid we did not have all the tech toys kids do today. We did not sit around much and we certainly wouldn’t think of spending the day in the house. Even in the winter we went out to play in the snow. In the summer we would leave the house early and come back for lunch then be gone again until supper and then out again until dark. In winter we spent less time outside because of the cold but most days there would be some time spent in the fresh air of the out-of-doors.
Winter time we made snow forts and had snowball fights, we went sledding, and made snow angels. Of course, we also shoveled snow off the driveway and sidewalks. Shoveling snow was expected of us, it was our job, and no, we did not get paid for it. After all, we were sheltered and clothed and fed for free, the least we could do was shovel a little snow. Or so we were told by the rulers of our worlds, our parents.
Summer was the greatest fun time! Oh, we had chores in summer, too. Cutting the grass and raking and weeding were the biggies. Truth is that was fun too because we did it with our friends and even the chores became games. We played all sorts of games; tag, hide and seek, spud, we jumped rope, hopscotched, biked, played cowboys and Indians, and fort. We spent time exploring the neighborhood and nature. Sometimes we would lay in the grass and watch the clouds, finding all sorts of images in them. At night we would watch for shooting stars and often saw them. Lots of wishes were made on those falling stars.
We rode our bikes a lot. I rarely see a kid riding a bike anymore. Or if they are riding they are with a parent or other adult. I guess in today’s world it is not safe to let children ride and roam and explore by themselves. So sad. They are missing out on so much. Not just fun, but the time to daydream and think about what is important and what is not, the freeedom to figure things out. They miss out on the pure exhilaration of being who they are without adult restraints.
I think that I am glad I was a kid when I was. The world did not seem so scary and I think we laughed more. Life was not perfect but I think kids of my generation had more fun then the kids do today.