Dean... Dean is Different than Grant

Dean and Grant
a classic story of brothers
as much as they are alike

they are also different

there is a dynamic of siblings
there are some things that happen in the development of character based upon the size of family and the placement in line with siblings
and of course... the relationship of siblings

I am the youngest of three
much of who I am has to do with the dynamic of my life as one of three
being the "baby" of the family
so much of who we are is based off the pecking order within our family

Dean and Grant are very different
some of this has to do with age
while a good deal of this has to do with the dynamic of older and younger brothers
and also how we as parents have dealt with each of them

it is a bit of a paradox

Grant is the younger brother... which makes him the baby brother
while Grant has been exposed to things in shadow of his older brother that causes him to have a strength and stability that is not part of Dean
Dean and Grant are different

each of the boys has their own list of strengths
those lists are very different for each

last weekend... well... not last weekend but the weekend before last we had a four day weekend
the weekend was time well spent with a wide variety of activities

both the boys did urban hikes in the woods of Rock Creek Park... some with the dog... some with
Dean got to go skiing with mom
both the boys went to their Saturday Karate class
and of course.... there was Wii in the morning... Wii in the afternoon... and you guessed it Wii in the night

there was even a sleep over and a trip to the Silver Spring ice Rink to go Skating!

then on Sunday afternoon as we prepped for a dinner celebration for my mother's birthday I made mention that I wanted to do a family bike ride the following day
Grant objected... which was fine
Grant had already done a ride and I felt that Dean could cover more miles and move at a faster pace
without using Grant as our lowest common denominator

Dean was happy about the bike ride option
and well... I knew it would be below freezing... so I was not going to force Grant to take part in a bicycle activity that he wanted nothing to do with
that said... I often propose a bike ride without offering the option to say no

Monday morning came along and I started gathering bikes and bike gear for our bike ride
as Dean and I swarmed around looking for various missing articles of clothing we talked about our ride
I had scripted a loop in my head and was trying to describe it to Dean

just as Grant's ride involved a trip to Target
we would involve a trip to the store for Dean
although Dean is not as much in need of the carrot on a stick
it is still nice to have some structure and some sort of agenda to the ride

Dean had a gift card for Sullivan's Toy Store
having played Othello a few nights prior... it seemed that Othello would be good use of that store credit
Lisa called ahead to verify that they had this game
they did... it was the last one... Lisa asked them to put it aside with Dean's name on it

on the bikes
down the alley and then onto the street

riding down Park Road into Rock Creek Park
crossing Beach Drive and then looping onto the Bike Path

although Beach Drive is closed on Weekends and Holidays
we would not be taking advantage of this carfee opportunity on this day
we took a left and cut across a tributary of Rock Creek town towards Chevy Chase DC
dipping through the neighborhoods Chevy Chase DC and then Chevy Chase Maryland until we got to The Capital Crescent Trail in downtown Bethesda

Dean was moving along pretty good
it was my initial intention to break for lunch in downtown Bethesda

but since Dean was not feeling hungry we agreed to push it to Georgetown before we ate lunch
it was a good ride... it was nice for us to be able to have the pace set by the legs of one child rather than two
although Grant is strong... he is only six and will often need more breaks than 9 year old Dean

at Fletcher's Boat house we could not resist the temptation of taking a closer look at the frozen ice on the Potomac

on these trips I try to keep things fun
I like to stop and let the boys explore a little
we will pause on bridges and look over the edge
we will stop at statues or trees so that they can climb
and of course
we often stop at patches of ice so that they can try to break it

boys like breaking ice

after a few minutes exploring at Fletcher's we got back on the bikes and continued our trek

once in Georgetown we settled in on some random Mexican joint served its purpose but was more expensive and less tasty than the family favorite Cactus Cantina

stopping for lunch was not only a good opportunity for us to fuel up
but also to warm up
although Dean was not complaining about the cold
my feet were frozen

in Georgetown I reviewed the final miles of our adventure
we still needed to get to Sullivan's Toy Store in Cleveland Park
I thought... although I knew we were right off Wisconsin Avenue and Sullivan's is on Wisconcin Avenue... I figued it made more sense to go a few blocks further and take Massachucetts Avenue

Mass. Ave would have a wide sidewalk and far fewer cross streets to contend with
ontop of that... Mass. Ave is one long steady climb instead of several roller coaster ascents and descents

oh man... I was impressed
I was starting to feel the miles of the day
I could only imagine what young Dean was going through
at this point I was pleased that we did not bring Grant on this endurance quest
at the top of the hill along side the Cathedaral Dean dismounted his bike and took a break lying on the ground like a turtle on its back

I allowed Dean to catch his breath then we were back on the bikes
we had to make sure we got to the toy store before it closed

at the store we put the bikes in the bike rack sans lock
then went into the store
I was pleased to see Dean handle getting his Othello board game that mom had put on reserve

the game was just over 15 dollars leaving him some room for another purchase
LEGO GUY PHASE 3 was right in front of us
it was a no brainers...
Dean got as many LEGO GUYS as he could afford

with the purchases in his pack we had the final miles to ride home
once home I did a quick measure of our loop on MAP MY RIDE
18.9 miles not including some of our meandering
WOW! pretty much a 20 mile ride in sub freezing weather


not a complaint
in fact... there were a few times when young Dean thanked me for taking him on this bike ride adventure

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