Monday, April 4, 2011
Baby you can drive my car...
Jeff and I were a little embarrassed that none of our kids (they were 9, 9 and 11 at the time) knew how to ride a two-wheeler. Neither one of us could remember a time when we didn't know how to ride a two-wheeler. Riding around the neighborhood with friends was a big part of our childhood. Life was different for our Manhattanite children. Without a quiet cul-de-sac or a deserted mall parking lot to practice, we just never found the opportunity to teach them to ride. As a result, they never felt the wind in their hair or the rush as they sped down a hill or the thrill when you lift both hands off the bar. When the same child invited them to another party in Central Park a year later, though, they were determined to learn how to ride bicycles. So a week before the Central Park birthday party, we rented bikes, brought them to a park near our home and taught each of the three girls to ride. They learned remarkably quickly and we started to dream about family bicycle trips. We hastily returned to the bike shop and bought bikes for each of the kids on the spot. The following week, our girls dazzled their friends as they rode laps around Central Park on their new sparkling two-wheelers. Shortly after that, we rode through the park together on a weekend. And that was it. Since the brief time that we were enchanted by our romanticized vision of bicycle rides, the bikes have laid dormant in the storage area of our apartment building. I can't say for sure that any of us will ever ride a bike again. Curiously, though, I'm glad everyone knows how. Certain skills are imperative and the fact that you live in Manhattan should not be a reason to miss out on anything!
BabyMouse Burns Rubber, book number 12 in the series created by the sensational sister-brother duo of Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm, is a finalist for the 3rd to 4th Grade Book of the Year in this year's Children's Choice Book Awards. This is the second Babymouse book to make it in as a finalist in the four years of this program. It's hard not to love Babymouse! In this installment, Babymouse, encouraged by her friend Wilson, decides to realize her dreams of becoming a race car driver. She is self-absorbed, high maintenance and easily distracted but she has a strong moral compass and, ultimately, is the best kind of friend. Long love Babymouse!