We are squeezing hard the last of the warm weather in 2013 here. Where we live it’s often parkas and boots from October to April and most of the kid’s daylight hours are spent under florescent lights in a classroom like hydroponic produce. It’s dark and foggy and smells like dead worms and wet leaves and…for six months a year we live like mushrooms is what I’m saying. My son will play outside in the cold and snow, but some things are harder to accomplish in the gloom that is November in Ontario, and the glow from an iPod screen is as hard to resist as a siren’s song. I know iPods are great for some kids, and my kids use them too, but I hate them and I love them and I hate that I sometimes love them. It’s all very complicated and I’m pretty sure I’m over-thinking it but I paid good money for a liberal arts degree and so that’s kinda what I do now.
Last week I tweeted this, and people agreed:
I was thinking of my son and how he looks after coming off his bike. We have a great “super secret” BMX bike spot here in town he rides almost daily. I don’t have the heart to tell him that his “secret spot” had been clearly been used for years; the trails are worn smooth and dirt hills built for the purpose of jumping are shiny from use. There are ramps and ridges built from scavenged or stolen press-board and someone’s old rose-coloured rec-room carpet lines a particularly difficult jump. He and a friend “discovered” the spot during a regular bike ride and I’d tell you where it is but then I’d have to kill you.
I bought him the bike a few weeks ago for his birthday. His birthday was months ago but it took him that long to find the perfect bike and me that long to decide I could part with that much money for something that didn’t require food and a toilet. But when I did the math it didn’t make sense not to pay the same amount for a bike that I had for a brain-softening, spirit-crushing iPod. The bike is all black, right down to the rims and pedals, but he insisted on purple hand grips to up the cool factor, and four bike shops and three cities later, I was able to find them. Indulgent perhaps, but I’m a sucker for a wavy haired brown-eyed boy, and besides, more love for the bike means more time on the bike means more time outside. There will be snow on the ground here shortly and the bike will soon be living in the garden shed with a family of very territorial raccoons, so let the kids play, I say.