I went riding with my third child again yesterday and I am starting to realize that he enjoys biking, but he also enjoys the one on one time that comes with it. We were on a run called “Bobsled” which is not difficult but has quite a bit of curves, bumps, jumps, and other fun elements. As we are navigating this adventure my sons asks me “Dad, what are your three favorite things about all of your children?”
Now I love to bike, and I love time with my son, and I love to talk about the great things about my children. However, attempting to do all three at the same time is not a simple task. I had to think about twelve different attributes while trying to ride and keep an eye on my son. So here it goes:
“Well there each of you have so many amazing qualities it hard to narrow it down to three.”
“So you mean that you don’t want to think about three things, or you can’t think about three things”
“I could come up with at least three for all of you.”
“Then go ahead”
So I did. Now mind you we are going along a trail that normally I would goof around on because of the amount of fun elements and the relative ease of it. But since I was stuck riding behind my son who was a little nervous about the trail and in no hurry, I decided that I could do the task that he allotted to me.
I told him that his oldest brother was a hard worker, an encourager, and loved baseball (which I love as well). His second oldest brother was a people person, loved playing with his sister, and loved to cook. I told him that he had a very observant and inquisitive mind, that I loved that he loved to bike, and he was the best hugger that God ever created. I told him that I loved that his sister loved to wrestle, that she said silly things, and she loved to hang out with me in the shop. And I was done, only to add to the list that my three sons are really good big brothers to their younger sister.
Now we are going to focus on the ride right? Wrong, did I mention that my son has a very observant, inquisitive mind. He asked why I tend to go down hill faster than he does, and I told him that it was because I was heavier. He said “wait a minute, I thought everything fell at the same rate”. Now I am having a physics discussion with my son while we are trying to not get slapped in the face by blackberry, salmonberry, salal, NETTLES! My nine year old is telling me about his theories of acceleration and deceleration while we are climbing a hill in which I am starting to suck wind (and decelerate). He actually got off his bike in order to carry on the conversation! Wait a minute, I was cool with slowing down a little to talk. Now you want to walk the bike to talk, not okay.
Okay, that is not true. I was okay with it. When I go biking with my son I usually accept that I am not going to be going as fast as I want, or getting the work out I want. Now I am starting to understand more and more just how serious he was when he said that he wanted to spend time with me, and it doesn’t seem like he is so concerned about what we are doing.
I am actually happy that my son forced me to think about what I loved about my kids, that is not a list I normally put to words, but it almost felt like a blessing that I was imparting as soon as I spoke it. It is amazing how much a child likes to hear what their parents like about them.