Taking time for girls

One morning a couple of weeks ago, Cate woke with a giant grin on her face.

I asked her if she’d “seen something” while she was sleeping, and she confirmed, “si!” When I asked her what she saw, she replied dreamily, “bici ride!”

These girls do love bike rides. But now that both Bill and I are working, and with fall weather turning to winter, we haven’t ridden much lately.

I just finished and submitted my first invoice to Central Houston, for 110 hours of work. On the one hand, I’m excited because I like the work and this one invoice already represents more income than I’ve generated in the last ten years. On the other hand, I also feel acutely those 110 hours plus travel time spent away from the girls.

This morning, when I carried the cat’s litter to the curb, I was struck by how balmy and bright the day was. Knowing that I worked late last night, and expecting to work late again tonight, I made an executive decision to spend the morning out with the girls.

I also wanted to get some much-needed exercise, but didn’t want to walk again to West Gray Super Slidey park, because that’s the girls oft-visited option on the days when I take the car. Where to go?

I seriously considered pushing the stroller all the way to Ervan Chew park, but with 50 pounds of girls in a 34-pound stroller, that was too far me to walk today. Then it occurred to me: I could try our bike trailer on my bike.

It took me a few minutes to air up my front tire, and another few to secure the trailer to my bike frame. It took a few more minutes to get helmets on everyone, and then we were off!

Pulling an additional 85 pounds was both easier and harder than I expected, and the trailer exerted some interesting forces on my bike. But it only took me 12-15 minutes to get us to Ervan Chew. Nané drove my van and met us there.

The girls had a great time at the park. Cate wanted to swing really, really high. Sam wanted to hang from the rings and high bars.

We also stopped at HEB to recycle bags, use potties, and pick up some treats, including super-sweet honey mandarins. We even saw a big HFD ladder truck, a dump truck, a working excavator, and some Christmas dinosaurs.

Along our ride home, a lone monarch butterfly flew across Mandell in front of me. My thoughts turned to Gran’mom, and what she might have thought of our outing.

On the one hand, Gran’mom was a very disciplined person, choosing to maintain excellent posture, exercising regularly, and continuing to work until she was nearly 90. On the other hand, she argued that work was best in moderation, and chose to indulge life’s little pleasures like tea and cookies daily.

I feel certain that she would have approved of my deferring work to go ride with Cate and Sam. And thinking about her made me happy.

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2 Responses to “Taking time for girls”

  1. Auntie Em says:

    &, thinking @ you guys out riding on a beautiful day made me happy!

  2. jbholzer says:

    I, too, thought of Gran’mom when a single monarch flew across our back yard a few days ago. I’m glad enough people like her have planted butterfly gardens to support a resident population of monarchs in this area. Of course, climate change is also a contributing factor.

    But Christmas dinosaurs?! Love and e-hugs – BabaJean

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