This morning I informed my seven-year old twins that instead of getting in the car, we were going to walk to their Aunt’s house, a little over a mile away. Both girls begged to bike there instead. I reluctantly agreed, knowing that readying for a bike ride is much more labor-intensive than simply walking out the door. Nonetheless, we located jackets, shoes, bikes, and helmets, then spent an inordinate amount of time adjusting said jackets, shoes, bikes and helmets. Finally we were off! I had to jog to keep up with the cyclists, but it felt good to be outside going somewhere. It rained just enough to keep me well hydrated, which was a bonus in my book. The girls had a grand time bicycling down Pechanga Parkway while I yelled from behind about staying away from the edge of sidewalks and pedestrian safety in general. When we at last arrived at my sister’s house my daughter Katriel said, “Mom, you didn’t have to yell at us so much. We know that stuff already. We’re old enough to ride places alone.”
“I don’t know about that,” I replied. “There are not many seven-year-olds riding around town by themselves, you know.”
“Yes, Lisa does!” My other daughter Juliet exclaimed.
“Who is Lisa?” I asked.
“Lisa Simpson!” Katriel snapped, smacking her forehead as if I was addlebrained.
Now I gave them both suspicious looks. “Lisa Simpson is not seven, she’s eight! And I distinctly recall seeing Bart naked on a skateboard, but Lisa riding a bike? Never. She’s always home helping her mother clean the house and doing her chores like a good girl, isn’t she?”
Instead of smiling at my joke, both my girls shook their heads gravely. “Mom, you don’t watch enough Simpsons! Don’t you remember that time Lisa rode to Homer’s work?”
“At the power plant?” Juliet added, still unsure of my intellectual capacity.
I sighed and headed toward my sister’s front door. “I’ll have to watch for that,” I called dismissively. “But the bike ride over here was pretty fun, wasn’t it?”
“Yeah,” Juliet replied, “Pretty good, but not as exciting as biking to a Nuclear Power Plant, I bet.”
Katriel nodded. “Or to the donut store.”
And I had to agree…about the donut store.