Max recently got a new big boy bike from his cousin, Ben. (Well, actually, technically, my cousin Ben.) (Well, no, really truly actually, my cousin's son Ben. But I can never remember whether that makes Max and Ben second cousins or first cousins once removed or second cousins twice removed or what, and who wants to wade through all of that anyway? So, for the sake of all of our health and happiness, let's just call him The World's Cousin Ben, okay?) Max was very excited about the bike and all the sweet intoxicating freedom it represented, and he took an inaugural lap around the living room with his uncle Augie (well, actually, MY uncle Augie, but let's just stop there), but then it was just a hair too big for him and it was really cold and rainy, and so there has been a longish interlude between the acquiring of the bike and the actual riding of the bike. Last week, though, the weather was in the 80s, Max has spent the last couple of months eating and sleeping and growing like a weed (a weed that eats and sleeps, I guess, and I hate that expression, anyway, because whereas you are unhappy about a fast-growing tenacious weed, you are generally happy about a fast-growing healthy child. I'm playing it fast and loose with the parentheses today, aren't I?), and so Ian and Max took advantage of the moment and began learning how to ride on the big boy bike.
They've gone out practicing three or four times, and Max's golden laugh rings out the entire time he is on the bike. After the first practice session, Ian came in and said to me, "I'm having one of those landmark father-son moments, teaching my boy how to ride his bike. I can't believe how big he is, now." I can't, either. The only consolation for losing Baby Max is that Boy Max is the most fascinating and charming and lovely and funny boy in the entire universe, and he is still ours. For a little while, at least.