Yesterday was a good day.
A best.day.ever kind of day.
We went to church with Rachel and three of the crew while Zach was with Graham at a tournament.
Russ and I had taken our bikes and a picnic and planned to do a long ride on the trail that goes for miles through the city and out into the country and then go to some ball games later in the afternoon.
As we were headed to our lunch spot, we thought maybe we should see if the two middle boys would like to ride with us. We called Rachel and she checked.
To our surprise, Joel opted out (needed to save his leg strength for baseball game later) but Emmett and Caroline were all in.
After we ate and enjoyed just sitting in the warmth for a bit, we headed over and loaded up their bikes into the back of the truck.
The plan was for Papi and Emmett to go as fast and far as they wanted and I would hang back with Caroline.
Forget that noise.
Sister pedaled more rotations than any of us and chattered the entire way as she got her bike between Emmett and Papi’s and held her own for a total of 45 minutes of riding.
I was so tickled just bringing up the rear and watching and listening.
She had packed her “snacky pack” … a fanny pack slung over her shoulder with snacks. Her helmet rested on her ball cap and the girl was living her best life.
Last August, just before the start of her kindergarten year, we took all four to the same trail.
Papi and the boys took off and I rode with tears pouring behind our little granddaughter as she pedaled and bounced and called out for the longest time for them to wait up.
My heart broke for her as she would think she could see them up ahead only to realize it was not them. We pedaled so hard and finally in tears and exhaustion, she asked if we could stop and rest.
We found a bench along the way and we sat together and I hugged her and told her how proud I was of her to go as fast and hard as she had.
As we sat sipping cold water, I explained that the boys didn’t know that she was hoping to ride alongside them. I told her Papi and I had planned for them to do their thing and she and I could just ride at our own pace.
Smiles replaced tears as we waited for them to return. For the rest of the ride, the boys kept a good pace circling back so she could keep up.
Yesterday, as I watched her I was remembering that day. Little did I know she was as well. She had been watching for our bench, as had her Lola.
I am quite certain she wanted to mark her stopping point last summer so she could truly celebrate the victory of riding right on past it with the big dogs.
We figured where it was and as she circled on around the bend beyond it and realized she would be getting to ride beneath the overpass, she called out “I am so happy!”
She shouted the alphabet song loud and clear to hear the echo, just like her siblings do every time and then she pedaled on with great joy.
It is not often we get to witness a mile marker in someone’s journey.
I thanked God for the gift of seeing her joy and for her brother’s kindness to make a u-turn sooner than he would have liked, but realizing she was getting weary and needed strength to finish her race.
My heart is overflowing with thanks to God for the moments He gives. I am dropping a small stone on the path of my memory to mark the redemption of tears last August overcome with the laughter and a rousing echoing chorus of ABCDEFG, HIJK, LMNOP yesterday.
God is so good to us.
Your milestones are held as precious in His sight <3