Biking to Starbucks and Back

August 1, 2016

Last Friday, Amanda (Robert’s sister) took Robert bike riding on the parking lot across the street. I was a little apprehensive.  Although the parking lot was mostly empty, there still were some cars passing through.  A few minutes later, Amanda came to tell me, “Robert said, ‘Coffee, coffee, coffee’ .  That means, ” She continued. “that he wants to go to Starbucks.”

Well, Starbucks is 3 miles from our house and the ride there involve three streets – two of them with moderate traffic and one with a heavy traffic.  True, there is a sidewalk along those street with the exception of a few hundred yards.  Moreover, almost three years ago, Amanda and Robert rode their bikes there at least two times.  That is why, in the first place,  Robert associated bikes with coffee.   The three years passed, however, and Robert changed.  So, I was nervous. But then I realized that I should not be the one who is putting stiff limits to what Robert can and cannot do. So, I let them go.

Twenty minutes later, Amanda called from Starbucks to inform me that Robert was very proud of himself,  gave her high-five, drank quickly iced caramel Mocchiato with coconut milk and asked for more.  Her second call was to tell me that they are leaving to come home.

We should have waited.  Although it was an evening, it was not dark.  They were as safe on the way home as they were on the way to Starbucks. We should have waited.  But we haven’t.

Anxious Jan went to either pick them from the road or to shadow them on the way home.  Wrong idea.

Robert became both confused and angry.  After all, he was on his bike and he has not finished his bike route.  He was doing something with HIS SISTER and didn’t need his dad’s involvement.  They were peers, dad was not.  As he rode his bike he kept stretching his left hand calling very loudly, “Dad home, Dad, home.”

Dad, took a quick camera picture of his distressed son and accelerated  disappearing from his son vision.

Nonetheless, Robert was not happy. Our intervention/supervision to some degree spoiled this experience for him.  He wanted to grow up, and the best way to learn how to grow up is to follow his sister.  She is the role model demonstrating what it means to grow up step by step.  Dad and mom are parents, they keep the childhood like a sticky air all around.



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