90 to 50

Charlie off on bike ride #2
Thursday morning at 2.30am we heard the unmistakable sound of Charlie stomping and then the unmistakable sound of the shower turning on. I got out of bed: Charlie always wants to get dressed following a shower and sure enough he asked for 'shirt! pants'.

And then, 'bedtime.'

All right with me.

Back to sleep it was for all of us until my alarm went off at 6.30am. Charlie himself awoke a half-hour later and was ready to go to school in the white car in a half-hour.

Unfortunately the ride to school was Phil Schaap-less and Charlie wasn't happy at lunch. I've been giving him sushi in his lunch box most days but he found the pack I'd meant to stow away for his Thursday lunch on Wednesday night and ate it. Consequently, Charlie's Thursday lunch was not the most interesting. His teacher also noted that the cafeteria was extra noisy and I'm thinking everyone must know, school's gonna be out after Monday! 

(For just about a week, that is.)

The good thing was, Charlie was only upset for five minutes at school after which the day proceeded quietly, pleasantly. Jim had gone to see an old friend and taken the white car and told me he'd just go and get Charlie, so I had a long stretch of time to translate (5 out of 10 Eclogues down and it's not even the end of June) and finish some other 'to-do' sort of tasks. I'd seen grey clouds but the sun was shining and the sky was (it really was) blue when Charlie and Jim came home. Within a few minutes they went off on their bikes.

A friend—Charlie's sitter last summer—stopped by and helped Charlie use the computer and taught me the alphabet in ASL (I will be practicing). Charlie was amenable to having her help him type but told her 'bye' when she sat to try watch a video with him. She helped him carry his various blankets and whatnot up the stairs when he requested to take a rest and told him 'bye'—a very nice visit that nicely broke up the routine Jim and Charlie and I tend to stick to.

Charlie dozed off for an hour; this does seem to have become something of a routine, this late afternoon nap. He wanted another bike ride when he awoke and Jim was, as usual, game. The sun was just starting to down when they pedaled off in the cool air, to return some 50 minutes later. Jim, coming in for a drink of water, noted that once in the not-too-distant-past the ride had taken 90 minutes, and now the same route, the same distance, takes 50. 

That is, Charlie has shaved off almost half the time from his regular 10 mile bike ride. You've no doubt noticed from the photos that he's become a spindly string bean: I'm sensing that he's gotten a new awareness and appreciation of what he can get his 13-year-old boy body to do:

Peddling down the street so fast he feels like he could take off.

Running at full out of power sprint on the sidewalk so he gets that heady rush, like being able to fly

I know; I used to run cross country in high school and, for a time, I was pretty good. I'd been asthmatic throughout my childhood and nothing beat the thrill of being able to be active and athletic after years of standing on the sidelines. Probably a good thing that I've still been running for all these years, so I can run now with Charlie.

And yes, Jim gets his workout bike riding and walking with Charlie—it's both of them who've turned 90 minutes into 50.

Refueling post bike-ride

13 Responses to “90 to 50”
  1. Liz Ditz says:

    Just a brief note to say how much I enjoy the daily Charlie reports.
    My goodness, he is so tall and handsome!
    And the bottomless pit that is most adolescent boys’ appetite.

  2. Jersey Mother says:

    Exercise really is so good for the soul, and it is always good to hear wonderful updates on such an amazing young man Charlie is becoming!
    I was wondering if you are attending the big Autism picnic this saturday? I emailed the organizer to see what we should bring if anything and haven’t got a reply back yet. I assume they are busy, but trying to find other families who have attended this big event before, to know whats expected?

  3. emma says:

    I feel like such a slacker reading these posts:) I really won’t be surprised if one day I find myself reading about Charlie participating or competing in a major cycling event (other than the Ride for Autism , which is major too)

  4. Adelaide says:

    Big wow.
    Fifty minutes!
    Keep on keeping on, Team of Three.

  5. Rozy says:

    My goodness!!!!I’m pretty sure Charlie will not only be competing in a major cycling event one day, but will be the winner too.!!!
    I’m thrilled to hear about
    Charlie’s leaps.

  6. Alexis Yael says:

    Wow, that’s a great time-reduction! Yay, Charlie (and Jim!).

  7. Louise says:

    Has Charlie ever run on a real track? Do you have one at a school nearby? [comment edited by author] (The Rutgers pool is also available to families of alumni; I’m not sure of the cost.)
    It’s too bad the Charlie doesn’t like your lovely private backyard; you could put a track around the perimeter!
    There are a number of cross-country bike clubs in New Jersey. You can often see them cycling through the countryside. [comment edited by author]
    Oh, I’m such a pest, always asking you questions! But all your excellent narration of Charlie’s life always get me thinking. You say Charlie likes the packaging that sushi comes in; it *does* make the meal more like playing. What about putting his regular meal in a bento box? All the little containers that fit so neatly into the box always make *me* feel like lunch is special. It’s like unwrapping little surprise packages.

  8. autismvox says:

    Ha, if Charlie competes in a major cycling event I guess Jim will be too……..

  9. autismvox says:

    It’s possible that Charlie likes traveling over some distances for his walks and rides, rather than running in a circle which might seem, perhaps, a bit pointless to him. He definitely likes to go out and see things.— I had thought of getting him one of those bento lunchboxes but he seems to like the sort of lunchbox, packed with various sizes of containers, that he’s been using for some years, so we’ve so far been good with that.

  10. autismvox says:

    @Jersey Mother, We’ve never been to that picnic—it looks like the food available would have to be purchased (I’m just looking at their website); perhaps it’d be best to bring your own? I’m going to try to ask another mom I know who I think has gone to the picnic and will write back!

  11. autismvox says:

    I checked with my friend who went to the picnic a couple of years ago—there was picnics, salads; rides for smaller children, bounce houses. Looks like it will be warm and sunny, too.

  12. Adelaide says:

    Sounds like JerseyMother’s suggestion has everything!
    And container boxes are good. (I have had the bento box for some years now, before bentos became cool).

  13. Shawn says:

    Much like running is an outlet for Runman (have you read his blog), it seems cycling is Charlie’s. I wonder how far he could go with cycling (interest, endurance-wise). It certainly seems, he gains a lot of benefit from it.

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