Wheels in Motion

When summers fly, slow down to soak it all in.

During camp pickup on Tuesday, I told T I had a surprise. “We’re biking together tonight, because I got a bike too!”

T’s face lit up with a smile and he shared the news with his camp teacher and friends excitedly.

The hubby and I are frugal but this was a worthwhile splurge, because it means more quality time as a family.

Summers are so short and this one is just flying by.

The last two summers, I focused a lot on school practice – borrowing books and worksheets from T’s teacher that I worked on with T, in the hopes of reducing summer learning slide.

If it’s one thing I learned this past year, life is short, especially childhood, and I want to focus instead on building memories with and for T.

Part of that means accepting my wheels don’t always have to spin – and it’s ok to slow down.

This isn’t always easy to do as a special needs parent, as I’m always aware of the possibility of T falling behind as he gets older – and this creates pressure that feels overwhelming at times.

I’m taking an academic lite approach this summer: We try to read a picture book every night and I picked out light-hearted books from the library that T has been getting a kick out of reading.

And also mix in books with good messages.

We do a bit of math practice on weekends – to reinforce learnings from the last year – and if he’s curious about something, like black holes or how big the universe is, we look it up online.

We’re also keeping his swim lessons up and he’s making steady progress.

Most importantly, it’s about having fun and soaking up summer – like our recent Elora and Killarney roadtrips.

After dinner last night, T zipped through his reading practice and off we went on our bikes; the hubby’s bike comes next week, so it was just us two.

We first reviewed the rules of biking together – stay together, stay on the right side of the street, slow down and stop at every intersection.

It was a joy to bike around with T. The hour flew by as we explored all the side streets in our neighbourhood that we hadn’t explored before.

T has become confident with biking and I do see him paying attention to his safety.

I remember when I became a new parent and T was not even walking yet, I looked forward to doing things together like camping, roadtrips, outdoor hikes, watching horror movies.

Biking was never on this list – as it wasn’t something the hubby and I ever did.

But now, I’m so thankful we established this new routine – and the hubby and I are already looking up bike trails, near and far, that we can explore over the summer.

Because of FASD, life as a parent was not quite what I expected it to be; thanks to T, it is also more than I had ever hoped for it to be.

Scenic dock at Killarney Mountain Lodge

27 thoughts on “Wheels in Motion

  1. Buying a bike so you can ride with T is such a fabulous idea. I’d say it was worth the splurge as well. Not only will you get to spend more time with T, but it’s also a great way to get some exercise in as well! Agreed, it’s crazy how quickly time flies. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Linda

    1. Thanks Linda. It really was worth it and I agree about the exercise part being a bonus. I hope you have a nice weekend too and don’t melt from the heat!

  2. I can now proudly tell people that it was my father who taught me how to ride a bike, and I have some fond memories of cycling around my hometown with my parents. I’m glad you decided to get a bicycle for you and your husband — cycling really is a great way to bond with the people you love. And I can imagine T one day telling his friends about his biking adventures with both of you.

    1. Thanks Bama! It has been a wonderful way to bond and it’s so nice to hear about your fond memories of cycling with your parents. I wish for the same for T one day. 😊 Enjoy your weekend ahead!

  3. How awesome! I am not a big biker…but did a get a bike a few mothers days ago for the same reason: to bike as a family. We did it once or twice…and then life happened and I forgot to slow down. You give a really good message here, as you Always do! I need to slow down. We just had a tragedy in our community, and my sons best friend wasnthe only survivor of a fire
    He lost his dad, his 5 year old sister, uncle, and dads girlfriend. My sons friend jumped and is ok. His dad told him to. So…sorry for this info, but your message and what has happened in our community has taught me to take a breath, enjoy every moment. Its ok to slow down. We only get 1 chance at this thing called life.

    1. Hi Rebecca, I am so sorry to hear about your son’s friend’s family. That is a heartbreaking and unfathomable tragedy. I can’t even imagine what the friend must now be going through. 😞 You are absolutely right, we only have one life to live – and moments like this certainly puts that into very clear perspective.

    1. Thanks Jill. These are the moments that make it all worthwhile and I do hope that he can share these memories and create similar ones with his own children one day. 🙏💕

    1. Thanks Diane. Yup, for sure, he needs to wear his helmet. And you’re right, it’s good exercise too. Because we bike at night, we all get a better sleep too. 👍

      1. Like you said, the time you all spend together will make wonderful memories! When I was a kid, I rode bikes all the time with my brother. We rode all over. Adventures and fun were had! ❤️

      2. I love that memory! And I love that it still seems so vivid for you all these years later.

  4. What a great post. Here’s the part that I really needed to hear, “Part of that means accepting my wheels don’t always have to spin – and it’s ok to slow down.” Oh boy – that’s a tough one. And your ending – just like Erin, I loved it. May parenting always continue to surprise you with fun and hope! <3 <3 <3

    1. Thanks Wynne! It’s a tough but important lesson to be sure. And I hope the inspiration continues too. 😊🙏

  5. Hey, you can always toss some learning in if the moment strikes you while biking- T counting how many cars/trees/mailboxes/? in 1 block, you the next then see who can add those #’s together- which I’m sure T will ace because everyone knows dads can’t bike and count 😉 So glad you all are out enjoying the summer!

    1. I love all these ideas, Deb. I can see now why you are successful with the home schooling. I will definitely incorporate these into our bike rides. 👍😊

      1. Aww, thank Ab! Of course biking for biking sake is absolutely perfect no matter what! I just have a personality that always looks for learning opportunities in unique ways 🙂

  6. “Because of FASD, life as a parent was not quite what I expected it to be; thanks to T, it is also more than I had ever hoped for it to be.” 🥰🥰🥰

    I’m glad you’re giving yourself to slow down this summer and keep expectations manageable. You’re all getting exercise, quality family time, and some learning tossed in too. You’re doing great!

    I don’t know if he would be interested, but as a kid I absolutely LOVED Brain Quest trivia decks as a summer activity. It felt like a game, rather than a workbook from school, and I looked at the answers and felt like a genius when my parents couldn’t answer the questions correctly. 😆

    1. Thanks Erin! You picked up on the added benefit that I didn’t mention, which is the exercise bit. Which is so awesome. 😊

      I like the tip about Brain Quest – thank you! Trivia is something I enjoy and hopefully T may enjoy it too. That’s too funny about your parents and the answers.

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