Shit show bike ride

One evening last week, I took Josh on a bike ride down to Spanish Banks. He was determined to make it all the way to the anchor and back home. It would be a 14-km round trip, with some decent hills on the way back. Since he was so determined, I was happy to oblige.

It was a beautiful evening with the perfect temperature for riding. We stopped along the way a few times to play at a playground, throw rocks in the ocean, and climb some logs on the beach. All was well.

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On our return leg home, we had about 4 or 5 km to ride along the ocean, mostly on gravel. Josh wanted to lead the way back, and I was happy for him to set the pace. I’m not very good with gravel riding, but I didn’t expect him to go too fast anyway. I trailed behind him about 7 or 8 feet at a leisurely pace.

There was one narrow part of the trail that was occupied by some pedestrians. Josh went off the trail, riding between some trees, bumping along over some roots. He did great. Just at that time, another cyclist came up from behind us and past us at a pace much faster than ours. Josh let him past. Shortly after that, Josh started speeding up his pace. I thought he was just having fun, so I started riding quicker too. After a kilometre or so, I can tell he was straining to maintain the fast pace. I was starting to struggle with keeping up.

Firstly, I’m lousy on gravel. Secondly, I couldn’t figure out why he was riding so fast. I called out for him to slow down, but he kept flying down the gravel path, mashing down hard on his pedals. He nearly took out a few pedestrians, but he didn’t hear me yelling for him to slow down. WTF?

Finally, we got close to the Jericho Sailing Club, as the trail cuts through the edge of the parking lot. He slowed down before entering the roundabout. I was finally able to catch up to him, riding up beside him. I barely finished my sentence of, “Hey buddy, why are you riding so fast?…” His face was all twisted up, showing all sorts of emotions all at the same time within a fraction of a moment, and he started bawling. I quickly scanned him from head to toe–no blood anywhere–ok, what can be the problem? He was crying so hard that he couldn’t say a word.

I made him pull over. I asked him what was wrong. He was sobbing and snot was flying. He said, “I thought you left me.”

My mind was going at 100 miles an hour. Left you? Left you for what? Dude, you’re the one who left me behind! I was smiling and trying to figure out what the hell he was talking about. I said, “Hey, buddy, I was behind you. I never left you.”

He said, “I thought you went so fast that you left me.” He was still sobbing.

The light bulb went off in my head. I stopped smiling. That other cyclist that past us a few kilometers back! Josh thought that was me passing him, riding fast and leaving him behind! That makes sense now. No wonder Josh was riding so fast all of a sudden, trying to catch up to that other cyclist this whole time!

Oh, my little guy!

We sat down on a log, while Josh finished crying and riding through his feelings. I felt so bad for him. I held him, and repeated told him that I would never leave him behind.

We slowly made the rest of the way home. We had to walk the last kilometer uphill, because he just had no energy left to ride the hills. He fell asleep in record time that night.

Me, on the other hand, couldn’t sleep that night. The scene of what happened played repeatedly in my head. I looked for any crack in the logic of what happened, but I couldn’t find any fault. I couldn’t have guessed that he had mistaken the other cyclist for me. Once I decided no one is really at fault, and I couldn’t have prevented this, I let myself go through all the feelings that came with the event. I cried and cried and cried.

My heart broke in a million pieces, just thinking that my son thought I left him behind. What a horrible feeling for him to go through! He was straining so much to keep up, and the person he thought was his mommy just rode faster and faster until she was out of sight.

Life is kind of funny sometimes. It turns a perfectly great bike ride into a shit show. But what other occasion will allow me to look my son in the eye and say, “I will never leave you, ever!”?

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Day 14/365 {Up}

The last time we came to this playground, Savanna was strapped to me in a Ergo baby carrier, and Josh needed help to get up the steep steps. Today, Josh did the zip line and climbed up the rope ladder to the top of the giant slide, and Savanna didn’t want me to hold her hand going up the stairs. These damn children are growing too fast.

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Josh’s first skiing lesson

Yesterday Josh had his first of 4 skiing lessons at Cypress. Before the lesson, he was very excited before the lesson, playing with his skis and boots and goggles at home. I took Josh and his friend Darcy up the mountain for their lessons.

3 hours later, I went back to pick them up. Darcy wanted to stay and ski longer, and Josh had had enough. Josh ended the day in tears. This morning Josh told me he didn’t like skiing very much.

If you have little kids who ski, can you please assure me that this will get better/easier?

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Ice skating

When we first moved to Canada, I have never seen an ice rink before, let along skate. I added PE 11 to my class schedule, because I assumed it was mandatory like it was in Taiwan. In December 1992, our PE teacher took us to play ice hockey at the rink next to our school. It was my first time in my life putting on ice skates. I loosely tied the lace of the skates, grabbed a hockey stick, and got on the ice. I was super wobbly, and used the hockey stick as a crutch to inch along the ice.

The PE teacher told me to go right in the centre for face off. I took forever to get to the centre of the ice, the teacher dropped the puck, I tried to reach the puck with my hockey stick, and that’s when I lost my balance and fell. Because I had tied the lace so loosely, there was no support from the boot. When I fell, I twisted my ankle inside the skates, and the bones in my ankle shattered, sending a hairline split half way up my shin bone. I ended up in surgery that night, with a metal plate and 8 screws added to my bone to help hold my ankle back together.

Last weekend Josh had his first ice skating lesson. He was so excited about his lesson that morning. When I told him ice skating isn’t very easy, he said, “I think I’ll be very good at it.” I smiled and said nothing.

Once he had his skates on, the teacher asked them to all walk around on the rubber ground. He was wobbly, but managed to walk around just fine. He was still smiling and waving at me.

Once they got on the ice, the poor little dude was slipping and falling everywhere. Initially he was having fun and still smiling. But after a while, I can see his smile starting to fade. He struggled with getting up and staying up. My lips started to quiver on their own and my tears started to fall. I felt so bad for him.

Even after all these years of my incident, watching Josh fall on the ice just reminds me of the pain I felt. With each fall he took, my heart nearly jumped out of my throat. Good thing the lesson was only 1/2 hour. I wasn’t sure if I could endure any more.

Josh was no longer smiling when he came off the ice, but he was stoic. He said in a matter-of-fact tone that it was really hard, and he didn’t like it so much. I held him tightly in my arms, and told him I was so proud of him for working so hard and not quitting. As a parent, nothing makes me more proud than seeing my kiddo work hard and having a good attitude about it. And thank goodness nothing broke.Josh skates-2

J and K pod

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A few weeks ago, we were watching a documentary about animals, and Josh told me he really wanted to see whales. We decided that a whale watching tour is in order, so today we hopped on a boat and went down to the San Juan Islands.

We got to see a single hump back whale in the Georgia Straight, and saw two pods (j and k pod) in the San Juan Islands. Both kids loved the experience, and Josh kept talking about he wants to do this again.

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Road trip to Kelowna

I had to go to Kelowna for work earlier this week, so we decided to take the whole family on a road trip to Kelowna. The last time I hung out in Kelowna was over 10 years ago. This time it was so much fun to bring the kids. We took the kids peach and plum picking, visited the kangaroo farm, and played at the beach.

Josh getting ready to pick peaches.

Josh getting ready to pick peaches.

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Savanna getting ready to pick fruit.

Savanna getting ready to pick fruit.

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She ate more plums than her body weight.

She ate more plums than her body weight.

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Do you see the arm of the little joey hanging out of the wallaby's pouch?

Do you see the arm of the little joey hanging out of the wallaby’s pouch?

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Hanging out with a kangaroo

Hanging out with a kangaroo

Feeding goats

Feeding goats

Little Peddleheads

This week, we had the kids registered for Peddleheads. I was bracing myself for the worst case scenario. Just 5 days ago, Savanna refused to try the balance bike, and Josh refused to consider taking his training wheels off. While I was work, I keep waiting for Cliff to text me that Peddleheads would send our kids home for being uncooperative.

On the contrary, Savanna showed up for her first class, got on the balance bike, and away she went. No fussing, no bad attitude, no fighting. During this week, she went from refusing to even try the balance bike, to booting around on it with ease.

As for Josh, who almost had a meltdown when we mentioned the removal of training wheels, is now riding a 16″ wheel new bike without training wheels. He still needs a little help with launching, but he can ride pretty comfortably and make turns all unassisted. It makes me so incredibly proud to see him riding two wheels.

Today I finally had a chance to go see them in their classes, and it was pouring rain. Both of them had a great attitude, didn’t whine or complain about the rain, and both had a great time. This was one of those mommy moments that I was doing fist pumps inside my head while standing at the sideline.

She LOVED the puddles

She LOVED the puddles

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She really LOVED the puddles

She really LOVED the puddles

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Did I mention she LOVED the puddles?

Did I mention she LOVED the puddles?

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