If you stay in one place long enough and don’t move too fast, you get to know its ways and rhythms. We used to take evening walks by the river, and I know where the geese liked to rest and the habits of swallows. But lately evenings have taken me in the other direction, uphill, away from the water, to the pavement.
The middle school parking lot is empty and wide with shallow hills and inviting curves, an appealing place for budding cyclists. I give Helen’s training wheels little nudges with my feet when the going is tough and watch Reed pedal around.
Around the bend, behind the gymnasium and along the tether-ball poles, a group of three or four kids lolls. They are never the same kids, but always just the same, somehow. On bikes. On scooters. Eating an orange popsicle. Not doing anything much. Never causing trouble. Not being exactly good either. One boy always showing off.
They could be a kid-gang of any era, really. They could be Little Rascals or Tom and Huck. And I like that. I knowing they are a part of the summer evening landscape along with the happy man and his baby girl, the large woman and her golden retriever, the joggers. I like being reminded that we aren’t all about Are-we-just-teaching-to-the-test? and Is-technology-hurting-our-children?. We are also about Biking-with-an-orange-popsicle.
Here’s to that.