The sun is finally shining, the birds are chirping their spring time melody and everyone is itching to get outside to enjoy the wonderful weather. Especially the little ones in our lives.
The energy in the Brown household buzzes with anticipation as we prepare ourselves for the first bike ride of the year.
I have invited my good friend Janelle and her 9 month old daughter, as well as my sister-in-law Ashley and her little man who is a ripe 4 months old to join us on our outing.
As Lars and Sophie suit up in their helmets and rubber boots the fleeting thought of whether or not I should put wet pants on them crosses my mind.
Nah, I think, they’ll be on their bikes, how wet could they possibly get?
We are out of the house fast and with little to no hitches, which makes me assume it is a sign of good things to come on our journey.
But, we all know what happens when one assumes such things.
Our convoy is one of grandeur as my three- and five-year-olds front the procession in their low to the ground plastic tricycles, to which I follow behind and Ashley and Janelle head up the rear with their matching strollers. We look good.
We start out on a wide path which proves to be easy riding.
Our destination is a small restaurant located in the downtown core Sylvan Lake. Which means we will have to traverse through side streets and over the dreaded crosswalk. But, I think, we are mothers we will prevail.
So there we are having a glorious time under the beaming sun when I realize how far ahead of our group Lars is.
He is approaching a side street intersection. He doesn’t seem to be slowing down to stop as I have taught him to do over and over and over again.
“Lars.” I yip at the child who is now pile driving strait towards a crossing of doom.
He does not hear me over the one inch thick padding that covers his ears from the helmet he wears.
“RUN!” Janelle screams at me which brings me out of my petrified stupor.
So I do run, I run hard all the while screaming at the top of my lungs, “STOP LARS, STOP!!!” My strident bellowing resembles that of a banshee, I am waving my arms in the air which is useless as he faces the opposite way.
He is now on the road. And he definitely did not look both ways before entering onto it. The sound of hard plastic wheels on pebbled road thunders down the street.
Finally a woman walking out from a nearby store must hear my screams of agony as she merely walks out in front of the boy and stops the bike herself. She points towards me — the crazy woman that is still howling from a few yards behind.
She gives me this look that silently shrieks, ‘worst mother in the world! Put on a leash on that kid for God sakes!’ I give a wave of thanks and she carries on her way.
After a great deal of chastising and some ground rules laid down we continue on. This time Lars is only allowed to go ahead to the predetermined landmarks I set out for him.
We make it to the burger house without much of a hassle, aside from my good friends making fun of the show I put on for them moments before.
We attract a good amount of attention from the passerby’s of our picnic bench as all of our children are ridiculously adorable.
And I think it is safe to say we all revel in the attention of our pride and joys.
The jaunt home is just as eventful as the journey there as my two darling children decide that riding through the foot deep puddles at light speed will be a glorious idea. By the time we finally get home, they are both soaked clean to the bone with dirty winter run off puddle water. They bask in their achievement.
As we unpack I look towards the two babes that sleep peacefully in their strollers, not causing their Mama’s one ounce of issue during the trip. I then glance towards mine who are now wrestling in the front yard soaking wet with mud caked faces.
And I realize I couldn’t have had a more enjoyable time. Because as they say, ‘it’s not the destination, it’s the journey that counts’ and with a three and five year old, one is always in for a wild ride.
Lindsay Brown is a Sylvan Lake mother of two and freelance columnist.