There are a few things that I have been able to anticipate in this parenting gig. Like the way I avoid hostage negotiations by pointing out something really interesting in the street as we walk past the puppy store — I must be a psychic. And the stomping tantrums that herald the the onset of the dreaded threes? Totally called that one. But here’s something I didn’t see coming. I didn’t ever imagine that we would get rid of our stroller. I don’t even think I ever imagined such a thing was possible. I just assumed families with teenagers still walked around their stroller to get to the bathroom.
After all, for so long, this thing was crucial to our life. Without it, we were little better than shut-ins. We could go outside, but if we had to cross a street to go somewhere, well, we weren’t going there. Or if we needed to be somewhere at a specific time (and by specific, I mean “afternoon” or even “today”) we needed the stroller to get there.
And suddenly, I find, I haven’t used it in three months. Granted, it’s winter and the stroller doesn’t have snow tires, but we are still going places outside, and getting there the same day — sometimes even before nightfall! This is a miracle that I may be submitting to the Vatican for certification.
Mind you, I’m thinking of getting rid of ONE of our strollers, not both. (New parents, go breathe into a bag: you will probably end up owning more than one of these suckers.) But I’m angling to let go of the big stroller, the one built for industrial use. Our bugaboo bee with the running board, once endemic to the sport of parenting, is kinda like a bouncy seat: now just a good way to break your toe more efficiently in the night.
I find I’m almost sentimental about it. After all, I am the one with stroller callouses, who once marveled at its nimble agility, who fondly remembers stroller napping, who once told the kids that the strap was a unicorn leash, who could put her iced coffee in the cup-holder, and fill the basket with all sorts of useful items, like wipes and sunblock (even if I didn’t get the sunblock on the kids, at least it was near them.) In fact, I should make sure that the boys’ birth certificates are not in there, before we get rid of it. Still, it seems fairly clear that we’re not going back to stroller territory, at least not to live, and somehow, against all reason, the kids are growing up.
This will not be a shock to most of you. “Kids? Growing? With the passage of time?” You are saying to yourselves. “Yup, sounds about right.” But trust me, I am here. All. The. Time. I am watching. This growing is very, very sneaky. It’s only when I have something to use for scale — like the stroller! — that it’s apparent to me. Imagine, a ride that moves too slowly for the eye to catch, yet the speed of it has left me breathless.