The kids and I have been walking to school in the morning since Jon is gone and it allows me to get a bit of fresh air before I head to work. Ri rides her scooter. She is a machine on that thing – she maneuvers over cracks and bumps like a pro and when she does hit one too hard and loses control of her scooter, she falls down, brushes off the dirt, and keeps going.
Mario, on the other hand, is not as adept at maneuvering the scooter. He prefers to run or bike. Today, he chose to bike (the other days he sits luxuriously in the stroller until we get close to school and then he runs at the last minute so no friends make fun of him!). He is getting more confident on his bike, even standing up as he pedals, which makes him very proud. He also does a great job stopping at the crosswalk and looking both ways (funny how he does not do so good at that when walking across our street to Quinn’s house). This morning, he had Ri and I in stitches when he stopped to try and look at something on the curb and fell right over on his bike. He plays dead when he does this and waits for Ri and I to come up and tell him he’s crazy. We got about three blocks from school when I saw him pedaling fast and coming up to a telephone pole. He couldn’t quite cut over to the left to avoid the pole and it clipped his handlebar and caused him to fall. He got a nice scratch on his knee with blood dribbling from it. He’s not one to typically shake this injury off. He sees blood and he freaks. Not as bad as when he needs a splinter out but almost as bad. But there was Ri by his side saying “come on buddy, be strong! Push through the pain!” I reiterated Ri’s support and told him to be like Ri and shake it off (a little competition doesn’t hurt). And so he got up and started biking – very slow – but at least biking. Maria proceeded to cheer him on the remainder of the way; “you are a biking monster, Mario! You are incredible and so strong! Nothing can stop my little brother!” She is his biggest cheerleader.
We got to school and he asked me and Ri to take him to the nurse. That made her happy. After we got his band-aid, we walked down the hall toward the stairs. I asked if Ri could take him to his room since I had to get his bike. I expected a loud “no” from him but he surprised me with a yes nod of his head. Ri was ecstatic and took his book bag.
“Come on buddy, I will hold this book bag so you don’t have weight on your knee.” She grabbed his hand and headed up the steps. I watched them turn the corner, and I began walking towards the exit door very aware of the giant grin on my face.