My boy Josiah is planning a trip to Ireland. It has been a lifelong dream of his and well…he’s gonna do it!
He thinks he may be biking the country…he, himself and him…so i suggested that he take a few long bike trips around these here parts with a loaded backpack just to get the feel for it. I’m a smart mama. And he liked the idea.
“Hey mom, i am gonna bike to the State Fair today.”
“Yeah?” I answer, “I don’t think they have bike trails that take you to the State Fair.”
“That’s okay,” He quips, “I’ll find one.”
“Hmmmm…okay..and i don’t think they have a place to park your sister’s bike when you get there.”
“That’s okay,” He answers, “I’m gonna put it in the woods.”
“Yes, the woods.”
“Hmmmmm…and how are you gonna get the bike from the woods to your girlfriends house, may i ask?”
“I am going to tie it to the top of her car.”
Now i may not be the smartest tool in the shed but i do know this kid is leaving for a solo trip to Ireland in a couple of weeks. And he will be gone for 3 Long weeks when he will be making every decision for himself…with no cell phone connection to call for help…so i am doing him NO favors figuring out his stuff for him at this stage of the game.
After some thought, Josiah did come to the better conclusion that he would bike to the Fingerlakes Mall, where he would leave his sister’s bike in the woods there, and board a shuttle to a day at the Fair with his gal. Then he will shuttle back…have a friend pick him up at the Mall, retrieve the bike from the woods and tie that said bike to his buddy’s car for the ride home.
As he is leaving i pull out 2 older bike helmets.
“Here, Josiah which one do you want?”
“Neither. I don’t like bike helmets.”
“Well, me either BUT they are the smart thing to do. You will need to wear one in Ireland so may as well start now.”
I flash my sweet mothering smile and say, “Let me give you a scenario…..you are biking in Ireland and hit a pot hole, or dodge a sheep, or get hit by a passing moped. You go tumbling from your bike. You fall. Breaking an arm wouldn’t be too bad. Breaking a leg you could deal with. Breaking you head would suck. Now, if you put this bike helmet on your little blonde head you are giving yourself a fighting chance.”
I keep smiling my sweet mothering smile and continue, “Breaking your head could mean concussion…brain injury…or amnesia. That would put you in a hospital in Ireland. Comatose is a strong possibility also…did i mention that? Comatose in Ireland means you don’t get off your return flight in the states and i am left to wonder what happened to you. Being the only family member with a passport, i would have to take my own concussioned head, my neck brace, and my cane, and board an international flight to Ireland in search of my long lost son. Who i would eventually find in a Dublin Hospital playing cards with other brain injured folks and not recognizing me when i walk in. When i walk in, that is, with my concussioned head, my neck brace and my cane.”
Josiah lifts the black and white helmet to his head. He fits it under his chin and turns to me…
“There, are you happy now?”
“Why, yes, yes i am.”
Then off my boys goes on a short adventure to prepare for bigger ones lying ahead.
Half hour latter my phone rings and i pick it up.
It was my Ireland-bound-helmeted boy.
“Mom, can you do me a favor? I left my State Fair tickets at home. Can you have someone meet me with them?”
I smile my sweet mothering smile into the phone and refrained from the lecture on “What if you forget something in Ireland!” and whisper, “Sure, i’ll see if Bekah can do it.”
I return the receiver and stare straight ahead for a minute, blink my eyes solidly, then go in search of a kind sister that will make the run.
Bekah returns home shortly…mission accomplished.
All’s well in Waterman land…and we return to life as we know it.