Jack and Eleanor started bickering about who got to follow directly behind Wes and I and who had to be at the end of the Fairbanks’ bike train. Realizing their bickering is always just that, bickering like an old married couple and never actually reaching a conclusion but rather trailing off and moving on to other important topics like which superhero everyone in our family is and if they are lucky maybe mom will make fresh Mac n Cheese for lunch and not just reheat old stuff (I set the excitement bar way low at our house), I piped in and said “Eleanor goes in the middle and Jack you go at the end.” Eleanor smiles and hops on her bike ready to pedal. Jack, defeated, lays on the sidewalk and stares up at the sky.
“Jack, what’s wrong?”
“I’m the person at the end of the line. That person is the most likely to get hit by a car. It’s not fair. I don’t want to be all the way back there.”
“Well, Jack, you were born first and so you’ve been on the earth longer then any of your siblings. If you go, you know you’ve seen more and experienced more then both of them. Oldest kids in the back. That’s the way it works.”
A few blocks into our ride he enthusiastically yells from the back “This is really a pretty nice ride back here!!
I like to think I’m teaching my kids resiliency and perspective in the face of adversity, one treacherous bike ride at a time.