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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Just like riding a bike

There are parts of bringing Corbin home that I anticipated and pretty much all that I looked forward to, but there are moments that have surprised me in that they have been so bittersweet and twinged with memories I didn't expect. Way back when, Scott introduced me to mountain biking.  The deal was, if he would buy roller blades (something I did a lot of back in the day) I had to get a mountain bike (clearly Math wasn't my strong suit since he wasn't talking a $50 Walmart special with tassels from the handlebars).  I can still remember my first ride.  He was beaming ear to ear as we made our way up a LONG, MUDDY, SLIPPERY, half SNOW covered mountain trail... I couldn't ride the clipless pedals very well yet and spent a lot of time picking myself up from the puddles and cursing the sport (and him under my breath... just a bit).  But I'm not a quitter and I made it to the top.  I was looking forward to an easy cruise down (NOT) but what lay between me and the downhill (which I soon learned to love) was a section where you had to "hike your bike" (READ: hoist it up onto your shoulder so that you can climb with your free hand up a rock face to the summit).  Now although I'm no quitter, and I'm certainly not a "girlie girl" who waits prettily for a boy to lay his jacket down over the puddle (I'm far more likely to jump across and keep running)  BUT as I assessed the situation from my tired, muddy, soaking wet vantage point I simply announced that when he got to the top he was welcome to come back down and grab my bike.  He did, and he did it happily because as he told me later, he expected me to say I quit 45 minutes before that.  From there Scott and I traveled around mountain to mountain, place to place exploring the amazing sites and rides.  He proposed to me on one of those trips and it was the best day of my life (tied with the day I met Corbin).  We talked a lot about kids, families, bike trips, bike trailers, and the adventures we would have as a family.  Yesterday I realized just how long it has been since I've been on my bike.  I ventured into "our bike store" to realize how much things have changed.  It's 4x the size now and the bikes have such new technology mine seems like a dinosaur.  Standing there looking for the bike trailer section I started to feel a bit queasy and had to blink pretty hard to keep my stinging eyes from tearing up past the point of no return.  I managed to make the purchase and fumble through the installation process at home before I hiked my bike up from the basement.  I looked over the collection of bike paraphernalia down there and gently dusted off my road bike making a silent promise that I'd ride it again this summer too... I still wonder who will install the clips into my new shoes... I just don't know how - Scott always did the bike maintenance "stuff".  Later that night on my driveway, I took a deep breath as I clumsily clipped back into the pedals and took the chariot and my son for his first ride.  It was surprisingly smooth and Corbin chattered away from the back like he had always been meant to ride shotgun.  Life's like that... like riding a bike. No matter how hard the climb is or how muddy or how riddled with puddles, even if you need someone to carry you to the top... the down hills a blast as long as you hang on tight and remember to clip out when it gets too hard... it's always OK to walk with a friend.
I'll always wonder what it would have been like to watch Scott be a dad, and I know I'd be a better Mama with him here to cheer us on but he'll always be with me for all the rides in my life - in my heart he helped give me the strength to climb the hills on my own. 

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your adorable son! You are a brave woman, and I know it will be a wonderful life for the two of you to have each other forever and ever. I'm sure your husband is very, very proud. Your son is so handsome, I wish you all the happiness in the world.

Victoria

J.J Barnes said...

I should know better than reading your updates while at work! you are the queen of bringing tears to my eyes. Scott would be so proud of you and Corbin both, I know that I am.

terence and carala said...

Thanks Stacey, for the read...or I mean cry! :-) It is sooo true what you said about "the ride"! I'm not quiter either....and no princess that needs my man to carry me over the puddle. So, we are similar in that way. These last two weeks have presented many puddles and steep climbs up mountain faces...but it was so worth it, for Caate. She was worth it all. :-)

It's not long now (tick tock tick tock!) and this part of the journey will be done. I'm glad we'll be able to walk over puddles together and enjoy our kids together. And, our kids will share something that neither of us have....a Russian heritage. Can't wait to see if they will natter to eachother in Russian! :-)

Thanks for your friendship and for going through all you have for Corbin. You are truly an amazing women and an amazing mom!

Love,
Carala

Anonymous said...

Shit that was a doozy. My heart is hurting and happy all at the same time..
julianne jojo julz

Frederick,Mackenzie,Noah,Hope said...

ya..I didn't want to cry either..but I did. Listen-GOD is GOOD all the time..so there is a plan, even though your husband is not here to see you do all these amazing things (he probably knew anyway what you'd become)...Just be fearless when raising your son. He's going to take care of you, and guess what-you'll one day see your man again. God Bless You!