Thursday, May 10, 2012

Golden Memories

I sat on my bike at what seemed like a very steep, long hill in front of our home.  When in reality, as a grown adult now, would probably be a not so long, not at all steep pathway.

But!  As a four year old little girl?  Very steep.  Very long.

My Dad ran alongside me a few steps and let go of the back of my bicycle seat.

Away I went.

And from the blurry memories..I recall I fell.

And fell.

And fell again.

But I don't remember the physical pain.

Nope.  Not a bit.  I was determined.

After a few times of failure I was let go once again...and there I went.

My strong, sturdy little legs pumped, to keep me going.

All by myself.

A child's first taste of freedom is the first time they learn to ride a bike.

All on their own.

I truly believe that.


As my neighbour kindly pumped up the air in the tires of a bicycle I had been reunited with for the first time in 5 years I became excited.  I have so many wonderful memories of the adventurous (though not altogether safe! - helmets for bicycling did not exist - or were not enforced at all 'back then') bike rides my father would take us on.

As a teenager I often biked to school.  As an adult I once biked over 50 km.  For fun.

Once my kind neighbour had finished his neighbourly duty I strapped on my helmet and hopped on. My boys became quite enamored by the fact that I was actually on a bicycle too.  Or quite possibly I mistook their look of being enamored with amusement by how dorky I looked in my helmet.

I can't quite be sure.

I took a few spins on the road in front of our house and raced my eldest.

The exhilaration was still there.

A soul-spark was reignited.

We had decided to go for a quick ride around the block but ended up at a nearby school.  Just behind the school is a large pavemented area with spray painted games...not like the hop scotch 'back in my day' (really? did I just say that?!)...but games unfamiliar to my generation (really? again? MY generation!? Yikes) with lots of numbers and complicated patterns.  There was also a large yellow smiling face with the top of his head open like the lid on a cookie jar with symbols emerging from it and a statement that read beneath, "Fill your bucket".

I liked it.  (sounds much creepier than it looks)

It had rained that day but the sun had shone hot that afternoon so there were only a few puddles left.

Feeling like a kid again I peddled fast and furious, flying through the puddles with my legs up and out like a v-shape as the tires slashed through the water, splashing high.

"Wooooooo!"  I yelled...and of-course my boys followed.

We raced, we splashed, we woo-hooed!, we played 'bike tag' (much less risky than one would think - in fact I'm still a bit confused by the rules my four year old made up), we rode in circles, zig-zags and in straight lines.

It brought back a wonderful deluge of memories from when I was a young girl.

As the early evening white-gold warm sun shone upon us behind that school, I felt like I was looking down from above.  A huge smile on my face.

There are first moments for everything in life and this was another. For truly wonderful memories of my childhood had just come full circle.  

I didn't want to forget this one.  No.  Not at all.

This memory?  I wish to keep safely preserved.  

Beautifully golden.  

Strong, precious and untouchable.

And I wonder, as I often do when a moment with my children rings clear and authentic, if this will be one of their golden memories...

1 comment:

Emily said...

There are so many layers here -- reconnecting with yourself while connecting with your children while reliving your childhood while forming *their* childhood while defining your own adulthood -- and so many nice parallels. Nice imagery!

And oh, what a moment! As a mother and a woman and a former neighborhood bike rider, this speaks to me. I'm so glad you shared it here!