Here's a sweet story. Mark and I just celebrated our 15th anniversary, and the boys wanted to surprise us with something. So yesterday, after school, with me off on an errand, and Annie over at a friend's, Brennan told Mark he was going on a bike ride over to his friend Tim's, who lives a few blocks away. Nate's job was to distract Mark, so he got him to shoot baskets with him. (Good job, Nate.)
Brennan eventually got back home and surreptitiously hid something in his room. After dinner, he and Nate carried out this big cookie above, with a "Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!" on it. "How in the world did you get that?" we asked him. He said he had biked to the grocery store (about 3/4 of a mile away, accessible by sidewalks all the way, fortunately) gone in, asked the bakery folks to write the message and add a nice picture with it, went through the checkout line and paid for it, slung it in a plastic bag over his handlebars, and biked home. He took a spill on the way home, he told us. The cookie was intact (whew!) , but he cut his hand. So he looked around, saw a nice couple with a baby in front of their house, and went over and politely asked if they had any antiseptic for his cut. They bandaged him up and set him on his way.
We were touched, as well as deeply impressed by his independence. (We're also grateful no grinch stole his unlocked bike while he was in the grocery store!) I had biked with the kids to the grocery store just once before, last summer, and I hadn't realized Brennan still remembered the way. So, anyway, nine years from now, when he's eighteen? Don't be surprised to get postcards from Brennan while on a backpacking trip around the world. We could definitely see him doing that.
In the meantime, though, I'm buying him a lock for his bike.