I got a new bike today. And I parked it right beside yours. Side by side they stand next to each other like a mom and a son… mine taller than yours, but not by much, just like the height of you and me. I am reminded of how important it was that you and your brothers had your bikes; a boy and his bike went hand and hand, like peanut butter and jam. It always made me so happy that we chose Redwood to call our home; a rare place in a world that is so busy; and a place where boys and bikes could be best friends. I think back to the freedom that came with being able to ride your bike to the park with your friends without a parent. What a right of passage, a momentous adventure it was for each of you. And then to be able to ride to Bragg Creek for ice cream or candy (or both!?)… well, that was the ultimate in freedom at twelve years of age and, in fact, was what you did on that Saturday afternoon of your last weekend with us. You and Matt rode into Bragg Creek returning with a bag full of “sugar” from the candy store; the little white bag still sits on your desk with the candy you were saving to enjoy later. You were funny that way; always spacing out the candy consumption – saving bits and pieces for another time, another day. There were times, Will, (cover your ears!) when I had to throw out some of that candy for fear of it going bad. For a long time the chocolate Easter bunny that you received last Easter sat on the floor beside your desk, package open and one ear missing because you liked to eat it that way, and I had to throw it out. You never noticed… or you never said anything and well, I have a hard time believing that you’d have let me throw it out without making a kafuffle. I can hear it now, “Throw away candy! Why, Mom, would anyone ever do that!? That should be against the law!” Hmmm. I did win that time… because, like I said, I don’t think you knew.
So, now I have a bike too. Wheels to freedom for me? Well certainly not in the same way as it was for you, but it will be nice to ride to Bragg Creek along the path to freedom that you enjoyed and then beyond to the beauty of our bigger backyard west of Bragg Creek. I will always take you with me on my bike, Will, and when I stop for ice cream it will be for you. I’ll order mango; your favorite.
Love you like a bus and all those bike rides to the candy store and for ice cream.