Grant then Dean on the bike path that goes along side of Rock Creek Parkway
on this day we stopped in at the National Zoo
the boys went through Amazonia real quick
a ride by experience would be far less convenient in the car
on the bike... it was impromptu
we were there... we made it happen

we had no lock... so I waited outside with the bikes
all part of the post school bike ride
where the journey is the destination

this post was started and never finished...
lately there has been a great deal of that I start a post... run out of time... run out of energy... or just get distracted then... NOTHING! the words and the images never make the page

I will give this a quick glance
something less than a edit

the school year has ended...
the boys are done with another year of school
each of the boys had excellent years with awesome teachers
both boys developed and prospered
nothing short of proud of my boys for both their efforts and their achievements
very proud of my boys for who they are and who they have become

Dean is advancing to the 4th Grade
while Grant is making that massive leap from kindergarten to 1st Grade

my little boys are getting big!

Dean in the crosswalk... the boys roll in the sidewalk while I roll along side them in the street
my tactic is to rush ahead to the next intersection
the boys are instructed to stop at the corner
if it is clear when I get to the intersection before the boys... I wave them through
if there is traffic... I remind them to stop at the corner

my presence is a moving pick
even if the children have the right of way
I can not be sure that the car will see them
I can not be sure that the car will grant them their right of way

I am proud of my boys for who they are

this year I learned a little bit about life and about education
school is not so much about the product but the process
it is about "education"
the process of learning... not the scores achieved on a test

not sure if all the teachers get this...
the boys teachers this year certainly got this...

I pay far greater attention to the conversations with the teachers than the grades themselves

when a child does a presentation... it is not so much about the presentation itself
but the process of preparing the presentation
if the process of preparation is done correctly... then the presentation is really no big deal
but if the process is ignored and the focus is on the presentation itself
well... then the presentation may not be as it should

Grant in his England World Cup Jersey... number 7... Beckam

Dean following behind patiently
Grant always wants to lead... it can get competitive on the sidewalk

this year when working with my boys on various projects I stressed this idea while trying to avoid stress itself

there is always going to be some anxiety about getting up in front of people... but we tried to lessen the anxiety

my wife lisa is very good about planning ahead we tried to approach large projects in small pieces
that really seemed to make the assignments less daunting
we had good success with both boys this school year

yes... it was a good year
each of my boys were lucky enough to have teachers that they connected with
teachers that understood them
teachers that helped them to grow and develop as they should

on our rides home we sometimes dip into the woods onto some short... very short... but good for kids loops
unofficial unmarked trails
perfect for the boys to get a taste of what it is to go mountain biking
this may be Dean's first ride on dirt on the newly acquired 24 inch wheel bike

Grant did a few loops then played on the swings while Dean did a few more laps

not sure why I am focused on this notion of presentations... but that is where this tangent took me... so that is where I am

I tried to teach the boys that presentations should be a casual discussion about the topic
they should simply talk to the people about their project rather than memorize things or read off cue cards
it really seemed to work
they learned the topic well enough that they were

there were some words here... not sure where they went not sure if they are coming back

puzzle of how to lock up the two usually shaped kids bikes to the U shaped post with a U Lock
not as easy as it sounds

we "tried it" and "we liked it"
the process was fluid
it was a situation that my previous life would not allow
it was an opportunity that was well worth harnessing

the boys looked forward to it
the thought of the afternoon ride was often a draw to get my younger son out of bed

then... the afternoon became an adventure

ah... the journey is the destination

initially before the effort for the post school bike ride I was running a standard routine that many parents run
after picking the boys up from school we would migrate to a local park just a block from school
there we would eat and afternoon snack and join in on the activities in the park

in an effort to make things fun
in addition to the afternoon snacks I also brought afternoon activities
soccer balls one day and then frisbees the next

there were times when the boys were not excited about my options
but I tried to help them to understand
when dad offers to throw the football with you... you should take it
soon enough dad will have a job and that offer to toss the ball will not be available to you

well... that job did not and has not presented itself yet
so... there were more days with more activities

yet... there was some frustration with my efforts
I wanted my boys to have an enriching good time
I brought things that I thought would be fun for my boys and their friends
but... if you bring something to the park... all the kids want to play with it

one day I brought ROCKET BALLOONS

well... I brought two pumps and enough balloons for a number of kids
but before I knew it... there were so many kids swarmed around me that my boys got tired of waiting in line and were off doing other things
this made me a bit bitter... I had to toughen up... the other parents would need to step up and entertain their own kids... which they did not

when I brought Croquet... after things were set up I got mauled
one by one I turned the kids away
croquet is not as easy a game to grasp as one would think
there is order and strategy

I did not feel that I could entertain the masses
so... I held my ground and played this game with my kids and my kids only
telling one father who brought his son over "some times I like to throw the ball will all the kids... some times I just want to throw the ball with my own kids"
this was one of those days where I only wanted to play with my own kids

shortly after that I removed this park as a post school option from our routine
it was a little after that I designed the post school bicycle ride

this post would be far better with just images and no words
but I guess... there are those that feel that way about this blog as a whole

sorry... that went all over the place
to me...
if I read this in a few years
it will amuse me
I will be able to connect the tangents in my head


camps said...

wow, Dean looks a little big on that 24" wheeled machine as well.

Keep in mind, adults ride 20" BMX bikes too, just keep getting bikes with longer top tubes as they grow. Always good to have a simple lightweight bike in the fleet

I'm missing all the Wakefields this year, bummer for me.

gwadzilla said...

Wakefield is not the same without you!


trying to sort out the sizing for Dean

a 26er with a super small frame may be the ticket
Cargo Mike has something... I am not sure he is ready to part with it