November 29, 2020:

We alternate, day-by-day.

If one day is an adventurous bike ride somewhere across town, the next will be all basketball, on the blacktop at Marston. Or all football in the park, or bowling at Clairemont Bowl with free fries and shakes from Craig's stepmom, a kind waitress in the diner.

One summer it's slot cars at the local track, in a strip mall at Clairemont Drive and Morena Boulevard. I have an orange McLaren with fat spongey tires which I keep as a kit inside a fishing tackle box. We don't do this that much. It's expensive, and Craig has to rent his car. We really do prefer the cheap stuff, where free is best. Locking our bikes to the drinking fountains at Roosevelt is fairly common, hopping the fence to the elephant exhibit, ignoring surprised or outraged fingerpointing from tourists and housewives. It's our city, ladies. We belong here, you don't.

One great favorite is Belmont Park, at the beach. We love the giant slide, and the cement mixer, and the bumper cars. Remarkably our bikes are never stolen. It's five dollars for a bracelet granting a full day, and because five dollars is a lot for us, we do this just once or twice per summer. More frequently we bike down to Mister Frosty at Garnet and Haines, where twenty-five cents buys the world's most ginormous soft-serve in a cone. Enough to fuel a ride up Mount Soledad, or around it on La Jolla Boulevard to the Caves.

We are the organizers. When we're not off on bicycle adventures we gather the neighborhood for hide-and-seek or football. Later it's the older girls who organize truth-or-dare. Right now nothing much happens without our initiative, and I wonder in hindsight what the other kids did with themselves on our bicycle days. Television, most likely.