Saturday, September 24, 2011


We bought Jack a new bike this week. In the interest of frugality, we had hoped to squeak by with the old bike until birthday time rolls around. After watching Jack furiously pedal twenty times harder than the rest of us to keep our leisurely pace on a recent family bike ride, however, we started shopping around for the upgrade. New bike for Jack = new bike for Sawyer. Everybody wins.
Cycles. Wheels. Spinning. I watch as my kids go tearing down the sidewalk on their new bikes, each one experiencing the thrill of speed and independence. I stare at those little blond boys and listen to their gleeful shouts and the obnoxious sound of their bike horns, neon orange safety flags flapping along behind them. Look both ways! Watch for cars! I half jog along in the wake of their enthusiasm and breathe in the moment. This moment right now. It's fall and change is in the air. But change is always in the air when your kids are young.

Maybe it's my upcoming birthday that has me feeling introspective. 35 years old, thank you very much. And also the cycle of the seasons and another school year and one gigantic step closer to kindergarten and t-ball and sleepovers and jumping that new bike off the curb. These babies of mine are really more like kids now. I am pedaling as fast as I can to keep up.

Food. It's kind of an obsession these days. These cool, crisp mornings serve as a daily reminder: Make that pesto. Cook down more tomatoes. Blanche those ears of corn. Get started on that applesauce. I now know that whatever we do won't be enough. The tricky part is being okay with that. For now, the massive production continues with late night chopping and boiling and sterilizing and taking last minute trips to the store for more lids.

Speaking of last minute, I think impromptu birthday/dinner parties are my new favorite type of entertaining. Low expectations, no time to clean the house beforehand, no complex entrees. That's my kind of party. Also, cake pops? Do you know about cake pops? Cake pops make any party cool.

Did somebody forget my cake pop?

The tight circle of friends is what makes it easy to cycle back into work mode each fall. I spend my days with people I love and admire. Our kids are growing up together. We are each other's people. We laugh a lot, too.

I am a fan of the late summer wedding. One last hurrah before the rain comes. The kids and I spent an evening with my cousin Dave and Emily as they joined their hands in the circle of love that creates a family.

Love begins.

Love endures.

Love is silly.

Sometimes love comes in the form of chocolate cake.

Lovely things often come in threes.

And this one, well, I guess for some of us love is like corn on the cob on a summer's evening, the promise of chocolate cake, and being surrounded by the people who think you are the most awesomely amazing two-year-old ever.

And they are right, those people. Especially on your new wheels.

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