Although Lloyd is almost two, in many ways I consider this his first summer. The days of him sitting fixed in a sandbox and sticking foreign objects in his mouth are gone; he’s a full-fledged explorer now. Before and in spite of my eyes, our baby son has transformed into a little boy. He is fascinated by trucks (equally of the digging, emergency and hauling varieties), bugs, balls and roughhousing. But he also loves to cook, to vacuum clean, to play guitar and harmonica, to draw, to dance and sing, to read, to walk or just focus on some distant object for minutes at a time.
And now he loves bikes.
This month Lloyd tried out his new Laufrad (run bike) in our backyard. Inspired by the Flintstones, a Laufrad has no pedals and is instead propelled by pushing your feet directly off the ground. Once Lloyd hopped on it, he never looked back…or ahead…or in whatever direction he happened to be heading. Which is why we added this bell:
The more American of you might recognize this mounted alarm device as a “baseball”. I found it at a local shop which displayed a rack of bicycle bells on the sidewalk. Tennis balls, soccer balls, golf balls, basketballs, bowling balls etc. I went into the store and asked for the baseball. The man behind the counter, in his late thirties perhaps, walked out to the rack to get the bell while I waited inside. A minute later he returned with the ball. A golf ball. I looked at the golf ball. “That’s a golf ball,” I said. He looked closely at the golf ball. “It is a golf ball,” he said. He continued looking at the golf ball for a few seconds, then said “Which one is the baseball?”
This brings me to the second reason I got him this particular bell: the bike we bought for Lloyd has to be the most common model on the German market. Three out of every five toddlers seem to be scooting themselves down the street on the very same bike of the same make, size and color. Such a thing can quickly disappear at the playground. To help those of you at home understand this better, imagine trying to find your SUV at a Wal*Mart parking lot or locate your khaki trousers again after coming out of the gym shower. Take your pick. How do you distinguish yourself in Germany amid a sea of uniformity? Easy: slap a baseball somewhere on you. Voilà! Instant sore thumb.
Godspeed, boy. I’m trying to keep up with you.
This entry was posted on Monday, August 31st, 2009 at 21:14 and is filed under Chris, Dresden, Family, Germany, Lloyd, Society, US. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.