Tricycle Times

One of the kids in the neighborhood left their tricycle out overnight, and Penny, Kasey and I walked past it on our morning walk.

From a quick walk-by examination, it looks like the basic trike hasn’t changed much since I rode one more than 50 years ago.  The big wheel with the attached pedals, the sturdy metal frame, the two small rear wheels — and of course, the streamers from the handlebars — all are pretty much the same as they were during the Kennedy Administration.

What kid didn’t love a tricycle?  It’s a simple piece of machinery that has produced a lot of unabashed joy over the years.  I remember my younger sisters ripping around their neighborhood on their tricycles, determined to go faster, ever faster.

Then, one day, your parents tell you it’s time for you to move up to a two-wheeler, where you would be teetering and farther, much farther, from the pavement.  You hated the thought, but knew you would have to leave the security of your firmly anchored tricycle behind.  So you stopped riding the trike, balanced ineptly on the bicycle, fell a few times and wondered if you would ever be able to do it — until one day you did it, and you’ve never forgotten how.

For many of us, letting go of the tricycle is one of the first great life lessons.