Meet ya at the river trail!

25 Aug

Sully can’t ride a bike. He’s 10 years old… but he just can’t do it. The child has one of the most intimidating brains I’ve ever encountered (he really freaks me out sometimes)… but as far as coordination goes, he can barely put one foot in front of the other. I was raised playing soccer, softball, ice skating, danced for 10 years (ballet, jazz, and tap), gymnastics, snow skiing, yoga for years… you get the idea. I’ve always been really athletic (and really competitive in sports)- and to watch Sully run makes me cringe. He looks like a duck when he runs. I can say this because I’m his mother, and I love him, and I would NEVER say it to his face, and am always thoroughly encouraging with anything he does…. but he looks like a fucking duck. When he plays soccer, there are times when I have to hide my eyes because it’s so painful to watch. And when he was in gymnastics, I would have to leave the building because I would hurt myself trying to suppress the laughter that would explode from me in watching his attempts to do a somersault- or god forbid, a handstand. It is truly amazing. And he still can’t really do a somersault. (BUT I did ALWAYS shower him with praises for trying… I’m not a total asshole, I promise).

But back to the bike. He just can’t make the balance + coordination+ momentum thing happen. We’ve been trying for years. By the time he ALMOST had it with training wheels, he got too old to have them on the bike anymore. So we’ve been trying to have him ride it without the training wheels. But we have to go to a location far away from the neighborhood kids so they won’t see him flailing and make fun of him. And after falling over full-blown-cartoon-style a dozen times, he just has no interest in trying anymore. Apparently, it’s pretty common for kids with Asperger’s Syndrome to have horrible coordination, so I’m not super concerned. BUT where we live, ALL the kids ride bikes everywhere. It’s how they all get around, and what they all do when hanging out. He’s got enough social issues, that I really don’t want him to be snubbed anymore than he already is because he’s different.

So this was my idea:

Isn’t it a beauty? Wanna see another pic of it? Well ok! Here ya go!!….

(Oh yeah… ya see that big beautiful thing it’s propped up against? That’s my etching press. My dad built it for me, cuz my dad is AMAZING!!! So now that we have more room in our house, I can start making etching and linocut prints again. FUCK YEAH!!!!)

So yeah… we bought a 2-seater bike (or a “tandem” bike… I have to be sure and use it’s proper name or else my friends will mock me). Thank christ for craigslist, because these things usually cost a FORTUNE, and we got it for only $150. The idea is to get him comfortable with the balance and peddling, and once he can do that without issue, then we’ll start getting him back on a regular bike and see how he does. But for now, we’ve been taking family bike rides every night on the beach trail. Brad and I take turns on the tandem (because Sully is only 3 inches shorter than me, and right now he’s kindof dead weight on the back of the bike… and I get really fucking worn out lugging an extra 90 pounds behind me), and the other follows on one of our other bikes. It’s so fucking fun… and just what I need to relieve a little stress. I’m not a “beach person”… but riding a bike along a beach in the evening before it gets dark really is pretty. And the best part is that Sully LOVES it!!! So hopefully this will be just what he needs to get him on a bike of his own.

Aside from that little glimmer of happiness….. I’m in stressy hell. Just a couple weeks until the gallery show in Berlin, and I’m trying to crank out as much art as I can. AND I’m trying to ship orders to stores. AND I had to take a few days off to go back to Kansas to get Sully (which was wonderful, and WAY too short because I didn’t get to see everyone I wanted to), but those few days away kindof screwed me and I’m playing a vicious and annoying game of catch-up. Right now, every second counts. Once the show is done, and all store orders are out- I can breathe. And lay on the floor and stare at the ceiling for a week. And enjoy things again. But right now… WORK WORK WORK. So off I go to do that.

Thank whoever’s-in-charge for bike rides.

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7 Responses to “Meet ya at the river trail!”

  1. christine August 27, 2008 at 4:33 am #

    thats such a good idea!! my BFs son is having a hard time getting off the training wheels..its weird since his dad is a crazy BMX nut

  2. Cassie August 27, 2008 at 5:52 am #

    That was such a creative idea! You shall be the queen of mom’dom forever! = )
    I really hope this works for him. And the bonus is its stress free for you. Everyone wins!
    Wishing you luck luck luck on getting everything done for the show!

  3. Kristen Ferrell August 27, 2008 at 10:20 am #

    We have tried EVERYTHING to get him on a bike… and once he decided he was too old for the training wheels, he wouldn’t get on it until we took them off because he didn’t want the other kids to call him a baby. This is our last hope… we’ll see if it works. If not, whatever. It’s not the end of the world. I just want to try everything before giving up.
    šŸ™‚

  4. whitney August 27, 2008 at 1:08 pm #

    oh…..my….god!!!!!!!!!!!! that bike is AMAZING!
    i’ve always wanted one… in fact i wanted a 4-seater bike. that would be pretty amazing… and it would make a silly band photo. haha.

    that’s great you guys get out and do fun activities together like that.
    good luck and have fun with the gallery show! you’ll do greeeeat!

    oh yeah… and i just got one of these emails:
    “I am Mr.Rick Nalson,the Group Finance Director,Treasury & Insight HBOS United Kingdom.I personally discovered a dormant account with a total sum of $75,000,000.00 [SEVENTY FIVE MILLION UNITED STATE DOLLARS] during our Bank’s Annual Year Account Auditing.

    The owner of this dormant account is a foreigner by name “John Shumejda” who died on 4th Jan 2002. in a plane crash in Birmingham.
    Since the death of this deceased, nobody has operated in this account till date. Moreover, this account has NO BENEFICIARY attached to it.Definitely, this fund will be confiscated by our BANKING CODE OF ETHICS if it remains dormant for a period of [5] years without any claims.

    In this regard, I earnestly need your full cooperation in transferring this dormant fund out of our bank to avoid confiscating this fund. I will split the transfer into two 2 stages for easy and smooth transfer.First, I will transfer $5,000,000.00 to any valid foreign account you will nominate, upon a successful transfer without any disappointment from your side; I will then fly to meet you in your home destination for sharing, thereafter we jointly transfer the remaining balance of $70,000,000.00 for magnitude investments.

    If you are willing to cooperate in this project you have to let me know.

    Yours truly.
    Mr Rick Nalson.”

    haha. so good.

  5. juju galaxie September 9, 2008 at 2:05 pm #

    I didnt ride a bike until i was 10 either!!
    I was a ballerina and a gymnast but for some reason could not do the bike!
    Then one day i said..oh i can do it..got in and rode it..silly girl!
    Something clicked in my head and suddenly i went” OOOH i see,”
    and that was that. the “tandem” is a great idea!!

  6. Yard November 15, 2008 at 1:39 am #

    I must admit, I am 30 and unable to ride a bike. I have one of those adult tri-cycles (looks like a beach cruiser with a big basket). I have tried and tried and actually even got it to work for a summer when I was 15, I rode 2 miles to and from school for 3 months. During that time I had several accidents. I have this horrible problem of turning my handle bars when I turn my head often causing me to flip over the handle bars. I can totally commiserate with Sully’s current plight. I think the tandem ride is great! He can practice his balance and hopefully it will all come together for him in time. I probably could ride but all those flips back in my teens have created a big block of fear. Just for the mentioning, my threewheeler takes more balance and coordination then I thought….

  7. Kristen Ferrell November 15, 2008 at 10:33 am #

    I’ve seen those 3-wheelers, and they look awesome!!! If sully can’t get the bike thing down, we’ll just get him some rad black one like that. At least we’ve got him trying (which is a huge step for him because unless he’s perfect at something the first time he tries it- it’s like pulling teeth to get him to do it again).
    šŸ˜€

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