I live near a park. Today, the park is less action packed than on most days when children gather for football practice on the field, teens start pickup basketball games on the asphalt court and players hit tennis balls back and forth over nets. Today is Sunday and the park is empty.
A young boy on a small bike pedals down the road near the park. A black and gold bike helmet covers his head. The boy looks straight ahead. He tightens his grasp on the handlebars as the bike wobbles. His eyes widen and he presses his lips together. He leans towards his right and then toward his left until the bike steadies. He never stops pedaling.
His father follows on foot, not far behind the boy. He takes longer steps when the boy’s bike wobbles. His pace quickens.
The boy pedals harder as his bike moves from the smooth pavement into the bumpy grass of the park. His father rushes forward and places a hand on his son’s shoulder. They pause. The boy grins as his father pats him on the back. Then, they continue moving across the field.
I turn my attention to a woman walking two tiny white dogs. She holds a bright pink leash in each hand with her arms extended in front of her. She takes rapid steps forward to give the leashes some slack. The dogs scramble toward the stop sign near the park.
The woman stops and shifts her weight from one foot to the other as her dogs sniff the ground near the sign. One dog turns in a circle, nose to the ground. The other dog lifts his right hind leg and leaves his calling card. Then, both little dogs tug against their leashes again, pulling the woman forward down the sidewalk. They walk out of sight.