A few weeks ago, Phil and I spent the weekend at his parents’ house taking care of their dog. The afternoon that we arrived, I mentioned that I really wanted a Coke, but I knew that I would have to go get one since his parents never drink it. He suggested that we ride the tandem bike that his parents own to a nearby store.
“How far is it?” A reasonable question.
“Only like 10 minutes.” A reasonable amount of time.
So, Phil finds the bike which his dad had hidden in the shed and pumps up the tires, and we set off for the local store. Little did we realize that such a trip takes much longer on the adorably romantic “bicycle built for two” than on his dad’s 10-speed. Up and down hills, across rather terrifyingly busy roads, we rode. Phil sat in the front to steer, and I pedaled as best as I could. But due to the fact that we weren’t at home, I didn’t have good bicycling shoes. I don’t recommend flip flops for bike trips.
As Phil pedaled like crazy, my feet slipped off. The pedals continued to spin, preventing me from getting my feet back on without losing a toe. So, of course, my response was, “If you want me to help you pedal, you really need to stop for a second….STOP PEDALING!!!”
Twenty-five minutes later, we finally arrive at the local store, buy a 2-liter and a bottle of water, and head back. We survived our trip back, but needless to say, I didn’t want to do anything for the rest of the night.
I got to thinking while we rode that riding a tandem bike is a lot like being married. The husband is the leader in the family/marriage. He guides the family just like Phil was steering the bike. But he couldn’t do it alone (he got very upset when I wasn’t pedaling). We had to work together in order to move the bike.
The trip back to his parents required us to navigate through an area where the road we were on joined a nearby freeway. Phil needed me to look behind us so that we could cross the road and then cross back. Had he tried to look behind us to cross the road, he could have swerved or hit something. I looked back so that I could guide him. Similarly, the wife helps the husband guide the family but also trusts him to make good decisions for the family (and to not hit pot holes).
It really brought it home to me how beautiful a partnership marriage really is…and how much more fun it is than riding a bicycle built for two.