The enthusiastic, beaming calf still holds this same smile any time she’s with her bike. The entry fee for the century ride was her Christmas present. Next Christmas, I hope she gets me a massage gift certificate and some biofreeze gel because I will need them long after this feat.I first met MJ when she was three. We grew up together. I was a grown-up(ish) person in her life who offered an occasional “wipe your mouth; brush your teeth; say ‘thank you.’” It dawned on me today during our last ride before the big one, the “thank you’s” were likely less about manners than they were about simple gratitude. When we are grateful; we are happy. And really, isn’t that what you want for your kids? For them to be happy?
On our handful of rides since she’s come home from college she’s yelled the following while riding:
- Look at the green! It’s gorgeous.
- This jersey makes me smile!
- I love my bike!
- That hill was awesome! I feel great! (On that one I almost told her to kiss my 40yr old tired rump roast, but I refrained.)
- I love living here and I love my life!
- Thank you for riding with me.
Thank you. Feeling it really is the key to happiness. I’ve been finding a gratitude and happiness in the outdoors and biking since I was MJ’s age, but it took me 40 years to really connect the two. She might already have it down.
I’m happy the kid still rides with me. I’m happy I can mostly still keep up with her. I’m happy she still loves to cow, and I’m happy we’re going to embark on this 100 miles together. And, on the next Cow Suit Saturday around noon, I’ll be thankful it’s over.