You may remember that my whole family decided to do the 30 Days of Riding challenge. Guess what? We did it!! We actually rode our bikes every single day in September. We logged hundreds of miles (I'll tally them up at some point and share them with you) and we spent hours together riding and talking and having fun as a family. We accomplished something together that will be part of our lives forever. Something we'll never forget.
For our final day of the challenge Rose decided we should ride a bike path in New Prague, a town near our home, and then have dinner at our favorite restaurant, The Fishtail Grill. A pleasant ride followed by a celebratory dinner, I figured, would be a great way to finish 30 Days of Biking. Perfect, in fact. And I planned to take the perfect picture of our biking family to document the occasion. How wonderful we would look, I thought. We'd all be smiling because we biked for 30 days in a row. We'd be standing next to our bikes. Perhaps the sun would be setting behind us, the lovely light framing us in an ethereal glow.
Ryan enjoying chicken at our favorite restaurant - The Fishtail Grill in New Prague.
We hauled our bikes to New Prague and were all pretty excited as we set out on the path. The path followed a stream and we saw marshland, birds, a couple of ponds. Rose and I were riding ahead of Owen and Ryan. We were laughing, having fun. And then, all of a sudden, Rose lost control of her bike and crashed. Looking back, we're not sure what happened. Rose thinks she was up and out of her saddle and went to sit down, missed the seat and lost control. Whatever the cause, I watched Rose wobble back and forth, back and forth and tip over.
It's an awful feeling to see your kid lying under her bike. Totally still. Not saying a word.
But, thankfully, she moved and said, "Mom. I'm okay. I'm okay." A mantra she repeated again and again as I helped her up and hugged her. "I'm okay. I'm okay." Rose kept saying, probably trying to convince herself that she was. But it was obvious to me that she really was not.
Rose had a badly scraped knee and elbow, was scared and hurting pretty bad. And when your kid is scared and hurting even a little boo-boo is too much. You want to save them from harm. But you can't.
So you do the best you can do when accidents happen. I found band-aids in my bike bag. I cleaned Rose up as best I could. Bandaged her knee and elbow. Told her all the while that she was very brave. That she would be just fine. That things would be okay.
And they were.
We slowly rode back to our van. Rose was a little scared and sore but she was a trooper and rode back without complaint. We figured Rose would want to go home but she still wanted to go out to eat. So we did. And though we were all kind of shaken we were able to have a nice dinner. We joked a bit about Rose having her first "road rash." Told her she was tough and brave. And we took pictures of us smiling at dinner. Of Rose's elbow and knee. And after dinner we headed home.
Here we are - Smiling at Dinner
I had planned for an exciting end to 30 Days of Biking. Of pictures and yells of "We did it!" in celebration. Hmmm, sometimes things don't go according to plan.
But that's okay. Kids fall off of bikes. Grown-ups even take a tumble from time to time. I suppose we could just decide not to ride and remove the risk of falling off, of getting hurt. But if we removed all risk from our lives I don't think we'd have much fun. Sitting around doing nothing in the effort to keep our lives risk-free isn't much of a life at all.
I like the quote by Helen Keller, "Life is either a grand adventure or nothing." I like this view on life and want to live my life in such a way that I view each day, each experience, as wonderful, as an adventure to be met with gusto.
Rose's Road Rash
I think the kids will agree with me. After all, they wanted to take part in the 30 Days of Biking adventure and they set out each day to ride and meet their goal. And their list of things they want to do is full of adventures and challenges - they want to go rock climbing, fly hot air balloons and gliders, skydive, travel, ride horses, snorkel, ride bikes through Italy...their list goes on and on and on.
Hmm, maybe we have a family motto now, one that fits for 30 Days of Biking or for when we try something else that's new. One that even fits when we something more ordinary, like eating dinner as a family, walking the dog, or hanging out with friends. Life - our family's Grand Adventure.
I like that.