Out of ideas this afternoon, Max was bored and I was getting testy.
On a whim, I asked, "Want to go mountain biking?"
To my surprise, he emphatically said, "Sure."
With that, we loaded up our bikes and headed over to Harmony Hill.
Although he hasn't ridden much in the way of trails except for the small pieces which parallel the paved path, he was feeling brave and wanted to explore more today.
"I like the bumpy stuff," he explained.
I stayed behind Max and bit my tongue every time I wanted to tell him which line to take or to shift.
The only advice I gave him was, "Look where you want to go."
As we approached the last hill of our ride, Max decided he wanted to turn around. He was tired of pushing his heavy bike up the hills.
"Wait. Mom, is there a downhill on the other side of it?"
"Yeah, but it's a little steeper and looser than anything you've done so far."
"I have an idea. You push my bike up the hill and I'll push yours. Yours is so much lighter!"
We traded bikes and made our way up the hill. His bike is a tank.
He nailed the descent on the other side and declared the ride, "Epic!"
On our way back to the car, Max recounted our adventure and informed me he'd like a lighter bike for Christmas "and not one with, like, Hot Wheels or Spider Man or anything on it...like a cool bike, a real one."
I don't know about epic, but it was super fun trailing behind my third grader in the woods on a drizzly Labor Day afternoon.
...and just like that, Summer vacation has ended. Whoooooosh.