Recently I was sitting outside Smith’s Diner on North High Street in my Mustang, top down, enjoying the hot day turning to cool dusk. I looked up to see a father and daughter preparing to leave the restaurant on the dad’s ten-speed. He was lifting his bouncing baby girl into her bike seat, located in front of his. Her curls stuck out the front of her helmet, framing her face, where she still had a trace of spaghetti sauce around her tiny mouth. As I watched this protective dad carefully secure the straps to her seat, I found myself unable to look away, so lost was I in a deep desire to trade places with her…if only for the ride home. I absolutely longed to have my dad buckle me in a safe bike seat with his strong arms on either side of me; I imagined having absolutely nothing to do but take in the scenery while he pedaled us home. No maps to follow. No responsibility to assume. No cell phone to answer. Just me and my dad and the birds providing a soundtrack. What broke me from my reverie was actually the little girl. With a movement so abrupt I knew she simply could not hold it in any longer she pointed her finger at me in my car without a top and proclaimed, “THAT looks like FUN!” To which I immediately replied, pointing at her, “THAT looks like FUN!!”
She squinched up her face and looked at me as if I was very confused. Clearly, I was no judge of the superiority of my fun ride.
We smiled wistfully at one another as her dad pedaled her away.
I saw her again a few blocks later, and she waved exuberantly as I passed, my hair blowing in the wind, the rolling stones serenading us both from my pony: but if you try sometime, you might find…you get what you need…