Yesterday afternoon my niece, a freshman in high school, flew on her own from Phoenix to Denver to spend the first half of her spring break in Boulder. While she was in the air on her solo adventure K was on the ground taking her own.
It was one of those days which slaps you in the face with the fact that spring is just around the corner. We took advantage of it by fixing up our bikes. Once K's was done she wanted to ride and, for the first time, rode her bike around the block and out of sight. To do this she has to ride down our busy street, cross it, ride through our neighborhood, cross our busy street again and ride to the house. Solo. Which left me trying to distract myself in our yard fixing R's bike and hoping that all of our lessons about looking and staying to the right and being careful had made an impression.
Some of my best memories are of the "adventures" I had as a kid. Exploring with my sister, riding my bike, getting on our rooftop and jumping from house to house. Not all of it was smart but it is part of who I am today. I want K and R to be able to have their own adventures, riding their bikes through the neighborhood and testing themselves. But it doesn't mean I won't worry every time.
After what seemed like hours, but was really just a few minutes, K came riding back up the street and into the driveway. She was just fine and ecstatic with her new freedom. As she rode around the block a few more times I considered that one day she too may be flying across the country to spend time with family or friends. Solo.