I have no idea who presented her with the idea—and I'm certain someone's to blame—but our 2-year-old has lately determined that she's going to join the Hells Angels.
“I’m going to ride a motorcycle when I grow up!” Jane keeps exclaiming.
“Why is she saying that?” my husband demands.
“Jane thinks she’s going to be a motorcycle rider,” her twin brother and sister like to tell me, with a laugh.
But I hardly think it’s a joke.
“Nobody's going to ride a motorcycle as long as they're under this roof, and I highly suggest that you avoid doing so once you’re out on your own.” This was the ultimatum I delivered a few days ago when the subject arose again after school. Jane, however, seemed impervious to the threats.
“I’m gonna’ ride a motorcycle when I grow up,” she told me again the other morning.
“No,” I said, “you’re not.”
“Why can I not ride one?”
“Because they're dangerous.”
“Why are they dangerous?”
“Because you can fall off and die.”
“Awwww!” Jane lamented. “I wanna’ ride!”
So I decided to try to embrace her passion.
“What do you want to do when you grow up?” I recently asked Jane at dinner.
“Be a teacher.”
“I thought you wanted to ride a motorcycle?”
“They’re dangerous,” she retorted.
I rewarded myself with an internal pat on the back.
But then last night before bed, we were reading “The ABCs of Philadelphia” when we came “Y” is for “Yo! Meet me on South Street: An expression of greeting or a way to get attention, the word yo gained popularity in the streets of Philadelphia.” A transplant to this town, I’d never heard that before, and thus intrigued, I naively forged ahead.
“Yo conjures images of movie hero Rocky Balboa (‘Yo, Adrian!’) running up the art museum steps, life in the neighborhoods, and Philly traditions like eating cheesesteaks or soft pretzels on South Street—a famous youth culture destination filled with tattoo parlors and eclectic shops and restaurants.”
“What’s a tattoo parlor?” Georgia, 6, asked.
“A place where they use giant needles that really hurt to draw pictures on your skin.”
“I want a tattoo!” Jane hollered. “A tattoo!”
And so I sighed and chose to close the cover on the book.