A late night at the park

As we’re recovering from our jet lag, I’m trying to find ways to tucker the children out. I managed to get Violet to bed at 9, so that left me with a wide awake seven-year-old.

“Hey, Liam, how about we ride your bike to the park?”

Bless his heart, this boy is still trying to master two wheels, and we recently acquired a balance bike that he’s finally getting the hang of. Except it’s hard to find a good stretch of flat concrete to get some practice on. He hates the heat, so the best time to go is at night. So there ya go.

There’s something sort of verboten about taking a walk with a young child after dark. I remember as a kid, once those street lights started flickering, it was time to head home. But here in Greece, at least in the summer, that’s when the fun is starting apparently. We got to the park around 9:45 PM, and it was MOBBED. I mean, so packed, Liam couldn’t even really ride his bike around. I saw kids as young as three just tooling around, chasing their siblings, and having a blast. Not a bleary eye in sight. These kids must sleep till noon!

Liam and I decided to head over to the pedestrian shopping district, much less crowded now that the shops were all closed. It’s still not ideal — we had to cross some streets, and it makes me nervous when he gets going fast with no real brakes — but he did just fine. I’m not sure when or where he’ll finally graduate to riding a real bike. Back home you could take your kid out with you in the neighborhood, but here that’s a dangerous proposition. Surely there’s a park somewhere with trails or something. I’ll have to ask around. Google is not particularly helpful for this kind of stuff. In the meantime, he’s been practicing his balance bike mainly on the roof. There’s not a lot of space, but at least I don’t have to worry about him getting hurt.

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