Owen also likes to watch the cars when they go by, and the kids that circle past on their bicycles. There’s a whole bunch of girls who live nearby whose ages, as far as I can guess, are about 6-9. The other day two were stopping to turn in front of our house, and one said to the other, “My dad says he won’t buy me a new bike until I teach Lily how to ride.” And then she continued morosely, “And I don’t think Lily will ever learn how to ride a bike.” I snickered a bit and thought about how that dad seemed to be outsourcing his own job a bit. Shouldn’t he be the one who teaches Lily how to ride her bike? Hmmpf.
Then a few days later, I indeed saw the Dad teaching a younger girl I’m assuming was Lily how to ride. He was holding on to the back of the bike helping her keep her balance, as she gleefully smiled and rang the bike’s bell over and over. The older sister who had done the talking the previous day then said to Lily in a very snide older-sister voice: “Less bell, more pedal.”
It made me laugh out loud, and I’ve been using the phrase to admonish myself all week. Elizabeth! Less bell, more pedal.
I mean, bells have their place, and sometimes one should do nothing but exuberantly clang a bicycle bell over and over. But other times it's the grunt work that matters and one should just pedal to get to where one needs to go. I could certainly try to do more pedaling myself.
And I’m pretty sure I saw Lily whiz by my house on her bike today, as Owen hung upside-down off my lap and laughed.