The Other Mother & A Nagging No

My kids can coerce me into almost anything. It drives me crazy but all too often the “thing” they talk me into turns out to be the very “thing” we all needed. I guess this is part of why they can convince me so easily.

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The other day it was riding the bikes at the off leash park. The park is huge and so the request reasonable. I recently bought a “4 bike” bike rack which was for this very purpose. The boys have been very eager to get on bikes – it had been an entire week since we packed up the boards for the season. I had been shooting for a week at home for Spring Cleanup. So when the suggestion came I said “not likely”. I did not say “no way” because it was beautiful out and calling for a turn in the weather next day. I was considering it and was pushed to a “yes” quite quickly.

The problem is that in that yes was a nagging “no”. I knew it was going to be a challenge to load bikes as I had only loaded once on my new bike rack and the kids bikes are a tight fit because of the weird/small sizes. I also knew that potential problems could arise at the park. If it was busy with dogs it could be chaos. If we encountered the wrong dogs also chaos. Some people were going to smile to see the boys and others were going to scowl and wonder how I could let my boys ride bikes in the DOG park. All the same I knew I had to figure the bike rack out eventually and it would likely not be very busy at all. I also knew that my kids have excellent dog safety training and they know what to do. As well I am entirely used to people judging and I am entirely resigned to the gamete of reactions I get from strangers. I was not “up” to it really but I was “open” to it.

So I will admit I did not have much grace as I quickly did everything I would have otherwise done over the course of the 2 hours I was now going to be out. I threw my chili together, I did the dishes and I got those bikes on. The bikes part is a story within itself but I will not revisit that. It sucked but it will only get easier. We made it to the park in one piece. The boys may have been holding their breath in hopes that I would not freak out – because I felt like I might and they can usually feel that too. However roughly executed we made it.

The other mother – the dog, was eager and pleased as punch as we set off on a wide loop away from the main population of people and dogs. It was not busy and the boys used excellent discretion in choosing when to stop for mom to catch up. Other mother was running ahead to keep everybody safe and then running back to me to check in. If you take another peak at the slide show you will see how she checks in but then takes off again to do her good mother job.

One person commented once but it was a compliment. She said “I wondered if these boys were alone and I thought it strange that they were but all the same I really was happy to see it”. We had a brief conversation about fear in our society and she commended me for giving my boys the freedom to go ahead of me.

As a bonus I got an excellent work out speed walking to keep up. I know now that this might be my lead up to jogging this year. It would be perfect for interval running because every 100 meter or so are gates to take us into different areas of the park. This is where the boys stop and wait. I could easily run, walk, run, walk. Who needs the gym? Other mother was in her glory too.

So my boys were right to push me. They pushed me out the door and we had an excellent day. This is one of my favourite things about having four boys. I am pushed to do many things that seem too hard. I do it despite myself and despite my circumstance of having four babies instead of two.

Sometimes it really pays to follow their lead – they have the spirit of children and they know how to have fun. It is their gift back to you!


~ by Nicole on April 11, 2012.

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