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Scooter Girls

Maddie has never been what you’d
call a daredevil: she had the traumatic bike-a-thon at her
preschool where she rode all of one lap on her bike before freaking
out in fear of falling, and walked or scooted the rest of the way.
She’ll put on roller skates and then gingerly walk her way
around our neighborhood, and on the days when she does get her
scooter out she scoots at a snail’s pace.

So I thought we’d never be the ones taking alternate (read:
wheeled but people-powered) transportation to school in
kindergarten. But last week as Maddie and Elise walked to school
and saw all the “big” kids whizzing by on their
scooters, an idea was born.

The idea was originally Elise’s, of
course; Maddie would never push something like that on her own. But
when Elise put it forth, Maddie jumped all over it, and we promised
that the next day the girls could scooter to school.

The next morning was shrouded in light drizzle, but that
didn’t stop us. Maddie put on her helmet and her cute
dress-length raincoat and scooted her way down the street. When we
hooked up with Elise, the two of them chatted as they pushed along,
and the sight of them earnestly scooting together was so cute I
could hardly stand it. Maddie had a low ponytail and with her dress
completely covered by her stylish, fitted raincoat, she looked not
unlike the professional businesswomen I used to see scootering or
walking up 5th Avenue on a work morning.

The system’s not perfect, of course; I have to lug the thing
one direction each time because we’re not emotionally ready
to leave the scooter at the school for the day (and truthfully the
New Yorker in me won’t even consider it without a bike lock)
so my shins are covered with scrapes and bruises from that stupid
thing banging against me as I walk. And some afternoons
Maddie’s too pooped to contemplate scootering home, and I lug
it both ways.

But that image of the two girls, bedecked in plastic flowers as
they pumped their way to big-girl school – priceless.


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