If you had asked me last week how old he was going to be, I would have had to think for a moment. Intellectually I knew he was turning 9, but emotionally I thought he was still much younger — 5 or 6, maybe even 4. I don’t know where the time went and how we got this far this fast and I suppose that’s how most parents feel. That’s the problem, one never believes it will actually happen to them, that somehow you and your child will live in Neverneverland and never, ever grow up.
But we do.
This is something that Andy has always looked forward to because he has always been in such a hurry to go places and do things – fun things that adults can do, such as driving cars, going to the Olympics, and drinking as much Matsuya Cider as they want without anyone telling them they can’t.
Still, we have some time: The weekend before his birthday we had nothing to do and surprisingly good weather. We weren’t scheduled for a soccer practice or a swimming lesson or anything else. We were free – like it was before he started to elementary school. So we rode bicycles to Komazawa Park and did what we had done most weekends in the pre-elementary school era – riding around, watching sporting events, and snacking on tortilla chips and yakisoba.
The process goes like this: Ride around, ride fast, ride really fast, slow down, look at a soccer game or a football game, or a baseball, or lacrosse game, and then ride around some more until it’s time for a snack. Yakisoba and, maybe a sports drink, but more often than not, just water. After that we might take a ride on the 4-wheeled family bicycle. And we did — just like old times. He’s still not quite tall enough to really power the bicycle, so I do it, which is rather difficult now because he’s 80 pounds. Then, it’s time for another stop and some tortilla chips and so on.
Even Andy felt that this was a day that had become special because of our mutual time constraints. “It’s been a long time since we did this; come to the park with nothing to do.” He was almost finished with his yakisoba. What do you want to do after this? “Ride around some more, just ride around some more.”
We did and that was enough for us.