In 1978, when my daughter was three, I won the Clark Essay Prize at my university for the best work done in the English Department that year. It came with $100, an enormous sum for me at the time. My daughter had been begging me for a Big Wheel, and I was able to buy it for her with part of the prize money. Our driveway had a gentle slope and she rode the new bike tirelessly, careening down the driveway, making a sharp turn onto the sidewalk and skidding down the concrete. Then she hauled it back up and repeated the move endlessly until her hunger won out over her love of skidding.
My grandson turns ten tomorrow, and he wanted a major gift for his birthday, a big wheeled trike made by Razor, pictured above. On Saturday my husband, my grandson and my first husband–my daughter’s father in town for the birthday–worked together to assemble it. As I observed this activity I thought back over many years. I was touched by the camaraderie between the men, not a common outcome in such a situation. My grandson loves them both and takes for granted that they get along. Once again I am thankful that after our divorce my daughter’s father and I committed to parenting her with love and without any negativity toward each other. Here was the fruit, 41 years later, of that decision.
Now my grandson, wearing the mandatory helmet, is pedaling up and down the sidewalk in and out of our driveways. He accelerates, then skids merrily across the cement. Razor calls it a Drift Bike, but it really just a jazzed up Big Wheel. A child powered vehicle, designed to spin out, delighting another generation.