We’ve recently traded Lilah’s co-pilot seat for a third wheel. That’s crazy bicycling parent talk for “My kid is growing up too damned fast.” Instead of being strapped into a safe cocoon, she perches on her own seat, gripping her handlebars, as I maneuver through traffic. She’s supposed to pedal, too, but – as a friend called out to us – she’s gonna need longer legs.
At first it made me nervous, but as parents, we can’t stop our kids from growing up just because we’re not ready. She loves that bike. Every day, when I drop her off at her little preschool camp, she checks to make sure I’ll be picking her up by bike. She was pretty pissed when it went into the shop for a couple of days, but then it came out with a handy little rearview mirror and a front basket. Now her blankie can ride up front while she grips the handlebars in the back. And I can keep an eye on oncoming traffic.
Today, biking home from camp, her voice came lilting up to me, repeating the only line she knows from her new favorite song. She’s inherited my musical ability, so it all came out in one note with no rhythm whatsoever. Still, there’s pretty much nothing cuter than an almost-four-year-old on the back of your bike chanting “Sweet Home Alabama.”