Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Mindful Family: Working it out on the Santa Fe Trail

"Quit cutting me off" Baker said to Edward the Younger as we sat, mid-ride at the All Good Cafe in the Deep Ellum neighborhood of Dallas, Texas. Baker set his head down on the table, likely the result of riding six miles then drinking a tall chocolate milk.

"This is how we work things out" my dear husband spoke up. I looked up from my meal. We are in a different conversation, I thought to myself. I looked into this: a family talking about actions and impact at a meal in the middle of a 12 mile bike ride. Something is cracking open.

Baker went on to describe what it's like to be on the trail when he gets cut off from his brother. Edward described what it's like when Baker suddenly stops. We talked about not making each other wrong, but seeing the reasons for the actions and the impact to another. Baker sat up a little straighter. A few minutes later he asked if we can take another ride tomorrow.

On the trail back we sailed through East Dallas as most of it is downhill. I watched Edward, taking both hands off the handlebars and lapped up his joy thinking of my own first "free-ride" 35+ years ago.

At one point, with three ahead of me, they took a sudden and unexpected water break, surprisingly close to home. I groused--as a biker behind me had to deal with the road block slow down without much warning. "You can't stop in the middle of the trail without warning!" I exclaimed.

All three looked at me. Baker smiled, "No one's wrong, Mommy. We just have a communication problem. Next time all of the riders need to know when we're stopping."

I inhaled. It was happening again. The Mindful Family is becoming more mindful. I hope this writing place shares our accomplishments and our failures: we're far from knowing how to weave this life.

Like everyone else, I'm just trying to make this precious time we have left with these beautiful boys more meaningful. One day at a time.

This morning was an experiment in trying something hard, meeting the challenge with joy and taking care of each other. I'm grateful for the lessons of the cycling trail.

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