this morning when plotting the day lisa asked me if I had scheduled some help for this afternoon
to that I said, "no...... don't you think I can handle it?"
lisa has plans to meet up with some of the girls for Vida's bridal shower
lisa proposes the trailer, my eyebrows raise, I propose the trailer to Dean, Dean leaps up in anticipation
the Burley Bicycle trailer is a bit of a process as it is always disassembled and tucked into my junk packed one car garage
the trailer is even more of a process in the winter time
in addition to bringing out the bike, dragging out the trailer, attaching wheels to the trailer, attaching the trailer to the back of the bike
there is....
accessing the temperature
getting in the right gear for me
selecting the right gear for Dean
after setting aside the sweatshirt, the jacket, gloves and hat; Dean dresses himself
when he wants things
when things can go in his way
these are the times when he is most focused
these are the times when Dean is most efficient
Dean manages to get dressed much faster than I am able to get the trailer ready

strapped in the trailer I put a water bottle and some popcorn by Dean's side
books and toys are already in the trailer
it is significantly warmer than last week
no real need for his gloves
no need for the chemical hand warmer that I have already taken from the pouch
no need for the plastic windshield today, we will go with the mesh screen cover instead
as I snap the cover over the trailer I look at my handsome young son
there is a grin as wide as the sky on Dean's face..... this makes me grin as well
as I pedal down the alley behind my house I ask if he want so go the same route as last weekend or a new route.... without hesitation Dean exclaims, "NEW ROUTE! I WANT TO GO ON THE NEW ROUTE!" not demanding..... but expressing joy and excitement
as I approached 19th Street various bike paths with various points of interest were calculated as I measured the current time, the time of the bridal shower, and the strength and desire in my legs

as we stopped at 19th and Park I turned back to Dean and proposed the airport
with the same level of enthusiasim Dean said, "I want to go to the airport!" only with ALL CAPS
that was pretty much the last we spoke for a while
sure...... I turn back to him and say something..... something that he does not hear
then.... Dean says something to me.... most things I do not hear... wind in the ears and all that

Dean gives a play by play
it is really a great perspective
Dean makes mention of obvious things that I just do not notice anymore
adults do not see the world as children see the world
and yes... I am an adult
Dean's play by play requires some involvement from me
for Dean to speak he needs his listener's full attention
so without eye contact there needs to be an audible response
so as we approach the tunnel on Beach Drive.... after Dean says "look at the tunel" the fifth time I shout... "I SEE THE TUNNEL"
as the sidewalk in the tunnel is the standard route when I am headed to or from work.....
the sidewalk is too narrow for the Burley Trailer
so to my pleasure the snow is melted enough that the bike path that winds through the back of the zoo is open
so Dean starts to shout, "Its the ZOO! Its the ZOO!" before he can get to the fifth exclamation I shout back.... "YES! IT IS THE ZOO!" with a big smile on my face
the next ten minutes go pretty much like that with mention of trees, other cyclists, roller bladers, types of cars, and the creek by our side

then silence.... complete silence

when there is a second for a quick glance back I see that Dean is sacked out
all lumped over in what appears to be an uncomfortable rag doll pose
but to a child there is great flexibility
with Dean asleep I debate about my route and my timing
then while out on Haines Point I am snapped out of my day dream by some utterance about a train that was on the tressell that we were about to pass under
Dean was awake, he had woken up as abruptly as he had fallen asleep
we talked about the boats as we both looked over towards Maine Avenue and then some sort of stucture that is a Maritime/Naval Universtity/College
as we move down the long drag I watch golfers take advantage of the spring like day
over near the water a man talks madly to himself as he fishes with a fishing line... no sport here... it is all about lunch
he breaks away from his personal debate and gives me, my bike, my son, and my trailer a wave
I wave back and give a hearty, "hey, whats goin on?" as he gives a clear and polite, "hello, how are you?"
then as we make the curve by the statue of The Awakening I pass an assortment of people getting out of their cars
the same cars that passed me nearly doubling the speed limit just a few hundred yards back
exiting the curve I turn into the wind
oddly it was against the wind the straight away leading to the curve
oddly enough the straight away leading away from the curve is into the wind as well
as a little girl steps for the curb her father slows her with a gentle touch to the shoulder
then upon the pass in a form of thank you I smile and say, "I am not sure if I stop if I could start up again"
Dean saw a toddler park and made a very polite and appropriate plea to stop at the toddler park
having my sights set on the airport I tried to sell him on the airport option
so I pointed over to the left
just 20 yards to my side was the shore of the potomac with the airport within sight on the other side

Dean loves the airport
Dean has always loved airplanes
Dean loves an airplane when it is a dot in the sky
Dean loves airplanes when we are going on a trip

Dean is sold..... more time is bought
we are on our way to the park by the airport

I am passed by an older couple on LightSpeed Titanium road bikes
they are moving pretty good.... guess they did not get the memo that we are pedalling into the wind

past the Jefferson Memorial, tempted to go in.... another time, across the 14th street bridge where I can not resist stopping for 20 seconds as an airplane comes soaring right overhead.... landing gear down..... making its approach to Washington National..... I mean Reagan National
back to rolling forward

Dean is getting ancy
Dean wants to get out

there is an exchange about how close we are to our destination and how he can get out then
we stop at a park by the airport itself where the planes take off or land depending on the direction of the wind
today they are landing...... I prefer the landing to the take off as an experience
Dean is loving it!
it is pretty awesome
actually a little scary with all of this wind
watching the planes surf an awkward bank turn

after a quick pee, a juice box, some popcorn, and a few more planes we are both suited up and headed back towards home
there are still planes over head
eventually Dean wants to go home

we load up the trailer and point for home
the ride back is much like the ride there
only Dean sleeps less...
which means that there will be more frequent observations as well as a few more frequent complaints
Dean has had enough.... he wants out.... he is strapped down in this little trailer... unable to stretch his legs unable to move like he would want to move
I try to distract him
I try to convince him we are on the way home
distracting him tends to be better than rationalizing with him
the complaints are seldom... but they are complaints
Dean is only voicing the same things that anyone else would feel in such a situation

we get home just in time for me to aid in watching Grant so Lisa can get primped for her bridal shower party....
Grant of course will not be down graded from Mommy 1.0 to Daddy beta version
so Grant crawls around as Lisa gets dressed
I slap in a dvd for Dean so I can try to pull Grant off of Mommy Lisa's ankle
he is a strong little Koala bear... clinging to his momma.... never letting go
we walk her to the door
once outside there is enough to entertain Grant
we sit on the stoop and draw with sidewalk chalk for a few minutes
then back inside to check on Dean
Dean is fine with his movie
so I center my attention on Baby Grant
we go back downstairs for some quality one on one time
he shows me all of his tricks
his walking
his climbing
his efforts to throw and catch a ball

we have a serious bonding session....

it is good for me to get some personal time with the wee one
once he gets bored with me in the living room I make a change of plans

it is too nice to be inside

I convince Dean that we will go to Turtle Park....
I fast forward the the DVD a few chapters as Dean is determined to watch the movie to its end
he is not fooled
he knows that there is something going on
he demands that I stop
I try to be more sneaky about it
he is not fooled

I let the movie run its final chapter and we head to the park
it is nearly 70 degrees in March.... phenomenal!

after turtle park we head to my Dad's place for a Chinese carry our feast....
my brother meets us there
the cousins play more than they eat
it is a great close to an awesome weekend

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