When Alden was a baby, I’d push her in the jogging stroller as I ran across the river and along the back roads on the other side. We traveled a lot of miles together in this way.
When she got a little older, she rode in a little seat mounted to my bicycle. And when she got big enough to reach the pedals, she rode in a little one-wheeled bike that bolts to the back of mine.
But Sunday, for the first time ever, we went out and covered miles without me providing her momentum. The girl has learned to ride a two-wheeled bike, sans training wheels. And her current pace is just about the same as my jogging speed.
As we set out, we didn’t know if it was going to work.
And, as I feared, we quickly hit a snag. A caterpillar was spotted. It’s fate was concerning to Alden.
And so we waited as it made its long, slow way across the bike path to the safety of the other side.
We rode a bit longer and then hit another snag. Alden had “lost [her] wind.” And when she found a bench, she declared that it was time for sitting. She made it clear that I was to join her.
And so I did.
Shortly after our pause, the bike path started sloping downhill for a bit, and Alden took full advantage of gravity’s assistance.
While showing off her fab freestyle moves.
Soon I was left sucking her fumes.
Before long, we reached the end of the road.
And so we turned.
And began the journey home.
The pedestrian hazards were no impediment.
It was just a girl and her bike and her dad in a Monkey hat. (Thank goodness she’s not old enough to be embarrassed by me yet. Though I assume that this will happen soon).
On the way home, Alden suggested a lap around Wilmer Park.
So that we could throw stones.
I am the goal-oriented sort. When I go for a run, I like to keep moving, so that I can get there and come on home again. But running with Alden was all about process. The caterpillars and benches, the puddles and pebbles.
We didn’t smell any actual flowers, but it sure feels like we did.