August is 3!!

6:41 PM

 This handsome guy, my August Banner, is three years old today.

 He's the most sensitive little guy. He loves to play with his sister and to kiss on his baby brother. He always tells me, "But Mommy, I want YOU!" which means that I'm not close enough to him or he's not cuddling with me ENOUGH.

And as of yesterday when we purchased bikes for him and Brooklyn, he now loves to ride his bike. And wear his helmet which lights up. 

 Purchasing bikes for the kids made me feel like a bona fide parent. Not that I haven't been one for over 5 years, but a bike is a milestone. Not only for a child, but for the parent. I'm not sure why that is. There's something essential to childhood about having a bike. Even if bike-riding in today's environment is less carefree and more supervised than when we were children.

We also didn't wear helmets as a child. And I think I would have pitched a fit about wearing one, but my kids didn't give it a second thought. They thought it was the coolest thing to get a helmet along with their bike. Maybe it's because Kyle has been riding bikes more frequently and he wears a super cool helmet. That's probably it. They don't see many kids riding bikes around our house, so it's not that. 

 After much deliberation and trying out varying sizes, we settled on two bikes for the kids and then they actually rode them through Wal-Mart to the checkout counter.  You know what's funny? Just about every single person we passed watched Brooklyn and August ride by and it brought a smile to just about every face. I could just see memories of their own childhoods flickering across their faces. There is a great deal of anonymity to shopping, and for the most part, I love that. But there was something about two absolutely gleeful children squealing with delight as they pedaled determinedly around the store that connected us to the rest of humanity milling about.

Maybe it's memories of hot summer days, the sound of the ice cream man truck, the feel of the breeze ruffling your hair, that feeling of first "getting" it on a bike and no longer needing your training wheels, family bike rides on Sunday afternoons, even those first falls and skinned knees and is essential to childhood. It is essential. And therefore universal in its appeal.

So as my little boy becomes less little and more independent with his own set of wheels... 

 and can now knock heads with Brooklyn in a relatively pain-free manner...

 I kiss another year goodbye.

And look forward to the beautiful experience of watching my children enjoy childhood as it was meant to be enjoyed. Bicycle rides, buzzing cicadas, skinned knees, sunburned noses and lots of frozen popsicles.

Happy Birthday, August. How I love you.

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  1. Cool bikes!! Happy Birthday to that sweet boy!! Hugs from the Walker's!:)