Trek Women
October 21, 2008

Enough With Asking

1114_canal_path_leavesedit_ps_rz_2 For months I have been hyping various cycling adventures to the kids.  The biggest of these is taking their bikes, along with my mountain bike, down to the path that runs along the canal in our town.  I frequently run there and the fall is the best time for the canal - crisp air, crunchy leaves (no Canadian geese with babies to hiss and block your path).  I have continued to meet lukewarm responses.  There is always something else that sounds more appealing.  Twice a week I have the opportunity to spend some one-on-one time with each of the boys.  On Monday one has soccer practice but the other does not.  On Wednesday it reverses.  Yesterday was a beautiful, albeit cold fall day.  I made a big pot of soup in the afternoon so that dinner would be ready for us right after practice.  I once again suggested the canal bike ride and got a "nah" in return.

Then it hit me.  I was forgetting the biggest mom rule of all time.  Enough with the asking.  It was time to pull out the "because I said so."  I simply stated, "Well, that's what we're doing."  I pulled up a map of the canal and said, "you can choose which direction we take the canal.  How far do you think we can go during your brother's practice?"  That's right - it was on.  Not only was I invoking the "because I said so", I had issued a challenge as well.

Brendan rose to the challenge and then some.  He kept time on a watch so we would know when to turn around.  I strapped on the Garmin to keep distance for us.  One hour and fifteen minutes later (and almost dark) we had ridden 10.42 miles (he wants it to be exact).  He crunched over leaves and sticks, passed a farm with horses, said hello to every maniacal squirrel gathering for the winter and only once did a swerving maneuver that I thought would end with me picking him out of the canal.

In the end I felt satisfied that no longer asking was the right choice.  Sometimes as a mom you just have to prove that you know what will be fun (granted, sometimes you say it will be fun and know it won't - like grocery shopping).  Our only mistake was not wearing gloves.  My hands were so cold when we got back to the fields that it took extra time to load the bikes back on to the car rack. But, Cameron is already prepping for Wednesday when it's his turn to see how far he can go.  Cameron's only question so far, "Did you take any breaks?"  He's cut from the same mental mind-set cloth as his mom (what if I can't do it?).    Enough with the asking - I think I'll just tell him that we're going 11 miles. . .

-Jen


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