After dropping my three kids off at school, I hop on my bike and head to work. The ride always seems short—too short to fully work out the stress that accompanies the morning routine. The little one wouldn’t get out of bed. The middle one wouldn’t get off his screen. The oldest one couldn’t find his standard-issue gym shorts, couldn’t wear any other shorts, and was not going to school. The walk from our house to their school is no less painful: the older two fight, the little one keeps stopping (“my.feet.can’t.move”), and I’m yelling the whole way, clutching the handlebars of my bike, which I’m more than ready to ride.
As soon as I’m on my bike, however, the tension begins to dissolve. My surroundings dissolve too, in cinematic fashion, houses disappearing, asphalt road becoming a dirt path, the trees suddenly lush and tropical.