It was a beautiful fall day. I was walking my dog while my four-year old nephew rode his bicycle on the sidewalk. He rode as fast as his little legs would take him and I shouted out to him to stop after a while and to wait for me. A little boy of five rode his small bicycle next to L. They had met just a few minutes before at the mailboxes near our home.
The little boy’s mother pushed a stroller with her two-year old son and I walked with my Chocolate Lab/German shepherd mix. She said, “They are fearless.” I laughed and agreed, stating some of the usual and true bonding words between caretakers, “And in the meantime they scare us half to death.” She laughed and agree.
We spent a pleasant hour with this family, walking and watching the boys ride their bikes together. I still love that this happens. Families meet each other and just hang out, bonded by the children.
Seeing my struggle of trying to get L not to get too far ahead of me on his bike as we went down the road while I tried to walk the dog, clean up after her as needed and call L back in order to do this, my new friend said that told her son to stop at each street light and wait for her. There was no judgment in it. She made a very helpful suggestion. I then said as I often do, what popped into my head, “That’s a great idea. So much better than yelling.”
I called L to wait and he did. When I met up with him, I explained this great idea my new friend had just shared with me and she supported it with great enthusiasm. Bless her heart. I mean that is a good way as I understand in the South that can mean something else. I am originally from the Northeast. I am not judging. Just saying.
Also, it worked really well, asking L to stop at each street light on the street. This allowed him to peddle his little heart out for a while, stop at a reasonable distance, and wait for me and the dog to catch up. I mean, the dog got to pee and also well, you know.
L could catch his breath for a moment. Also, I didn’t look like a completely crazy lady walking down the street yelling. I am ALL for that.
My dog quickly fell in love with the two little boys and licked their faces whenever they decided to walk up to her. I, of course, had her on a short lease so it was their choice to go to her. The two year old looked surprised and then looked at me for an explanation each time, which I found sweet and amusing. I told him, “She won’t hurt you but she will lick you if you get close her to her face.” I told him several times that she liked him. Their mother had already told me that they loved dogs.
Eventually we ended up on a nice dead end street with a grass covered area perfect for the boys. It was just one street over from where we lived. The boys found a small puddle of water and the three of them were quickly on the ground in a circle around it, splashing the water with their hands. I looked at their Mom and we laughed.
When we had first arrived there, my nephew rode his bike to the end of the road to the left. He got off his bike and did a wormy, silly, happy dance. He said over and over, “Yeah, I won. I won.” It filled my heart with joy watching him smile and dance. He knows how to have fun. I wasn’t sure who he was racing as he was the only one over there but it did not matter. He won.
The boys rode their bikes for a while. Later they got off of their bikes and ran from opposite sides of the lawn at each other laughing and yelling. Then they decided to do this and bang bicycle helmets when they got close enough. My new friend joked it was safety testing. We laughed. I liked her even more.
The three children played together and laughed. The next thing I knew, my nephew had his shoes off and was running in whatever little puddles he could find in his socks. He continued to laugh and run. Somehow it’s always wet shoes and socks!
Eventually, it started to rain lightly and here in Florida, that often means it’s going to start raining much harder, possibly soon. The other boys’ Mom, she told me her name but I have forgotten it, told her boys it was starting to rain, time to put their shoes on and go home. She had told me she lived a few blocks away.
I told L the same and it was probably time for dinner. I told him I would carry his socks home as they were soaked but he would need to put on his shoes. I helped him with that.
The five year old got on his bike. L got on his. The little boy held out his hand to L and asked, “Will you be my friend?” L took his hand and said, “Yes.” I have seen children do this over and over, but it always touches my heart. It is so direct, kind, loving and pure.
Together we all headed out to the main street. The boys went quickly on their bikes and we reminded them occasionally to stop and wait because in their excitement they seemed to forget the street light rule. oh well, I will keep trying. L would ride back to where I was and then ride ahead again.
We got to our street and Logan headed to the house. My husband was out front wondering where we had been so long as the Birthday dinner for L’s grandmother was almost ready. I told Bill we met some friends during our walk, they were right behind us, and I wanted to wait and say goodbye to them. I asked Bill to have L come back outside to say goodbye. He did. By then the group had reached our front yard. The five year old boy gave L a hug and Logan hugged right back. Then the two year old got out of his stroller. L kneeled down and held out his arms. He waited patiently. The two year old walked over to L and they hugged each other. Our neighbors had been sitting on their front porch and watched the boys say good bye. They said, “Awwwwwww.”
It was sweet. We invited them to come by and play sometime if they wanted. I told the boys’ Mom that it was nice to meet her and thanked her for her help. The five year old then said over and over, “Nice to meet you.” We said good bye and they left.
We went inside and said hello again to our waiting family. L had burned off a bit of his little boy energy. My eight- year old Lab/German Shepherd Mix was tired and happy, and had enjoyed her exercise and adventure. I was a little tired myself.
Then we had an enjoyable, laugh and love filled family celebration of my mother in laws birthday. It was a beautiful afternoon and evening.