Adventure Trio: "Don't ask why, as why not"

I'm often asked why we do what we do.  Isn't riding as a family of three on two motorcycles dangerous?  Don't you feel like you're being irresponsible riding thousands of miles with your young son on the back of a motorcycle?  To me the answer is simple, but I have to remember that we are different than most families.  And that, my friends, is exactly how I like it.

Many years before our son, Jack, entered our world, Terry and I spent our 20's doing everything we thought we were 'supposed' to do - buy the house, get married, work, school, rinse, repeat.  We also found ourselves helping care for friends dying from various forms of cancer.  After having lost my mom to cancer when I was 19, I felt as if my life was destined to revolve around this horrific disease.  When Terry's best friend lost his battle at age 28 and another friend passed in his sleep at 30 (mind you, while his wife was 2 months pregnant with their first child), we didn't know in which direction we were supposed to go.  We did know we needed a change.  It was time for a new city, time for a new scene.  We headed to a college town in Northern California, buying a sparkly new house in a brand new subdivision.  Aren't we all supposed to drive minivans, have kids, and raise them in the burbs?  Our son, Jack, was born 3 days before 9/11.  I remember the hospital televisions showing nothing but horror and destruction.  As I watched the plane fly into the second tower, I looked down at Jack and whispered, "What have we done?  What kind of world have we brought you into?"  I called my husband, Terry, to verify that what I was watching was real.  Sadly, we all know the answer.  It's easy to feel guilty as a parent, but it's also our job to show our children the world beyond what we see in the media, beyond what we're told we should and shouldn't do.  This lesson would come later. 

The neighborhood had a young vibe and was filled with new mommies and daddies.  All were primed and ready to start book clubs, poker nights and that ever-popular "get-drunk-and-bitch-about-your-spouse" gathering.  The latter was by far the more frequent of the batch.  Jack had some buddies; we thought we had some as well.  All looked good on the outside.

It wasn't until I overheard Terry in a conversation with some of his friends that I knew we were destined for something greater than the usual.

"I saw this used BMW 1150GS for sale on Craig's List", Terry confessed just within earshot.

"Get it", I muttered over his shoulder.

"Well, I don't know.  It's a lot of money..."

"Just get the damn bike", I interrupted.

Case closed.  Terry was officially the luckiest guy in the neighborhood to the dismay of some of the wives.  Many husbands stared at the new machine as Terry rode in and out of the court, hungry for the same feeling of independence.  We overheard more than one wife utter "Don't even think about it" in a venomous tone.  It was quite sad to watch.   Aren't we supposed to love and support our spouse in their desire for new endeavors?  Please don't get me wrong as not all reacted in such a manner.  I tend to remember these moments more than others, a habit I'm trying to break.

While I enjoyed date nights and long rides with Terry, I knew I would not last as pillion.  I lasted less than six months.  Had I ever ridden before?  Nope!  I always wanted to ride, as I never quite let go of my tomboy childhood.  Lo and behold, in 2005 I became the proud owner of a used 2003 BMW F650GS, ready to take the MSF course and hit the trails.  But, the purchase did not come without a price.  After having purchased his motorcycle, Terry promptly received a scathing email from my dad explaining how irresponsible he was, was he not thinking about his family, blah, blah, blah.  It was now my turn to be schooled by the former lieutenant colonel.  And, I was...relentlessly.  Dad had a hard time understanding why I would do such a thing.   Dangerous, stupid, deadly, irresponsible - I got it all.  But, that was okay.  He's dad.  I must say, though, that the best line I got from him was after the first time he saw me ride off.  Dad stood in his drive way, hands stuffed in pockets, and yelled, "SEWING MACHINE!".  Sorry, dad, but I am a product of the same man that used to fly jets and do sonic booms over California.  He lightened up once I pointed out that little fun fact.


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