Sunday, June 10, 2012

A bicycle built for two

One Christmas my parents bought our family a bicycle-built-for-two. It was so much fun! We lived out in the country and up on a hill. The road below the house and driveway were gravel. The driveway however, had the added dimension of pot holes and bumps from roots of an Oak tree and a Cedar tree. It was great going down the driveway-especially if you were the one in the back. But getting back up! Aye-yi-yi! Our goal was to pedal as hard as we could, getting up enough speed to make it up the driveway. If the person in back pedaled with as much energy as the person in front, we could get half way up. We were out of breath from all the exertion but at the same time laughing and joking about the person in front doing all the work. You could always tell if the person in back was slacking off. And if they were, we didn't make it far. We then had to push the bike up the hill. Regardless of the method, it took two people to get the bike back home.
My mother and father rode the bike too. Sometimes my mother would ride on the front seat and one of us girls were on the back. We sang "Daisy, Daisy. Give me your answer do..." You know the rest of the song about a bicycle-built-for-two. The bike only accommodated two people. But it did much more than give us a fun ride. It built relationships too. We played together, we sang, we talked, we explored our little valley, and waved to our neighbors as they passed by us on the road. Everybody loved that bike.
My father kept the bike in good repair. When the grandchildren came to visit it was ready to go, ready to teach a new generation about working together, getting along, and having fun. Since my fathers passing there has been no one to keep air in the tires and the chain from slipping off. Its home has been in an old shed out of sight.
When my mother told me I could have the bike I was so excited! The bike was a mess and Dennis was not nearly as excited about what it would take to get it up and running. Me? I know what the bike can do. Something magic happens when two people work together pedaling in unison. Tensions dissolve, hurts are rectified, we accept each other, we give encouragement when the person in back is slacking off or getting tired with, "You can do it!" Good things happen when we pedal together.