Wednesday, June 28, 2006


If photographs had been taken, or video shot, last night I'm sure it would have the power to excite great nostalgia some day. The kind of ache that makes a suspicious viewer like myself think there must have been some catch to that pristine scene: horrific mosquitos, dreadful marital tension or a sad accident following the footage. But no. I killed the only mosquito before it bit anyone (yes, I guess I do kill bugs) and so far the marriage and trauma states seem pretty hunky-dory.

It was simply a stunning summer evening, with lovely indirect light and cool breezes. Neighbors flocked, especially the children. Almost at the traffic jam level on the sidewalk when one kid parked his bike temporarily and the rest of the scooters, trikes and bicycles had to negotiate around it, with varying degrees of success.

The five year old must have felt the moment when she insisted that she wanted her training wheels off, NOW. Wanted to ride a two-wheeler. And, after about 10 minutes of instruction and falls (all onto soft grass -- she didn't add even one band-aid to her impressive collection of body art), she did.

The neighbor boy, who is seven, and seems to have a crush on our nine year old, was even kind enough to demonstrate how to push down on the top pedal to get started. The five year old watched carefully. We suggested the nine year old demonstrate using the five year old's bike (the nine year old didn't have her own bike out, she was scootering). Being the obedient child, she did, despite the fact that the five year old spent the entire time jumping up and down and shrieking with the frustration of being parted from her newly two-wheeled bike. Nonetheless, somehow she got the hang of it.

Ten minutes later, she challenged the neighbor boy to a race. Without success. The neighbor boy likes older women. In this case, the nine year old.


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