A few weeks ago we were coming home from walking the dog and he proceeded on down the alley on his bike as I put Cooper in the fence.
"Honey, are you going to ride in the alley for awhile?" No response.
"Yo Nate, I'm going in to make dinner, are you going to stay out here?" No response.
"Nate, if you're going to stay out you need to answer me and tell me you'll be on the lookout for cars."
Finally he looks up, hits the brakes on his old bike too hard, lunges forward, looks up at me, and goes down.
Somehow, I feel responsible and run over to him, and try to figure a way to untangle him from the bike. I don't have the heart to tell him to get himself up as I have been doing lately in an effort to help him break the habit he has of just laying there when he goes down. I'm repaid with kindness:
"You're the worst, it's all your fault. You're the worst mom ever."
After cleaning him up and having dinner, the storm seemed to have settled so I took a chance, "Hey, why do you suppose you were saying those things to me when you fell on your bike earlier?
"You know, because you distracted me and made me fall by talking to me and you know, I was panicked and didn't know what to do, so of course I blamed you.
Today we walked at sunset and he talked and talked about all the things we should do every day, or every week. We should go on a long twenty mile bike ride every weekend and we should take Cooper on a long hike every day. I suggested a walk around the neighborhood might have to do most evenings, he swooned and said, "Yeah, then you and Dad can take walks in the moonlight together."
"You know, I think you're gonna make someone a good husband someday."
"So you think I'm gonna get married?"
"Sure, if that's what you want."
"Well I have four girls who like me and seven who don't, so I need to get to work practicing to make more girls like me."
"You have plenty of time for that. Plus, remember it's not just about whether they like you, it's whether you like them. In fact, when you get older and start dating, that's what it's all about. Learning the qualities you most like and those that you don't. Eventually, you'll meet someone that has most of the qualities that you like and then maybe you'll decide to get married."
"I know Mom", he says, "but mostly it's up to the girls, because if they decide they like someone, they just dress up all pretty, and basically they've built themselves an arrow."