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My Kid Can Ride a Bike

Yesterday I decided to take the 20 minutes between when the big girl got off the bus and when the sitter came to try the whole bike riding thing again. Big Girl was thrilled. “No screaming,” she promised. We started down the street. She was shaky, but doing much better than she did the day before. I ran and she rode. Once down the street. Once up the street. I let go. She stayed up for five seconds. She started toppling. I put my hands back on her sides. I let go again. This time for ten seconds. She started jerking the wheel. I put my hands back on her sides again easing her straight. We went up and down the block seven or eight times. And then she said it. “Mommy, I can ride my bike. Don’t hold on.” And, once I got her started, I let go.

Two second later there she was. My little girl riding her bike. Alone. I felt so proud. So amazed. In my mind I heard a link breaking. One of the ones connecting her to what I once thought was an unbreakable chain. You know, the chain that keeps her close by my side.

She grew up a little today. She took one more step towards independence. I am so awed by this process. And so very blessed to be along for the ride.

And since I’m writing: What is it that makes everyone who passes in the car break out in a huge smile when they see a kid learning how to ride a bike. All those smiles, all that positive energy. I’m thinking it’s either they are remembering what it was like to learn how to ride. Or maybe they are remembering teaching their own kids. Whatever. All those smiles become part of what is a truly beautiful memory.

2 Responses to “My Kid Can Ride a Bike”

  1. sheri says:

    This is so beautiful! I smile thinking about it, for me it is remembering the independence & pride I felt at riding the bike all by myself and my parents looking at me the way I am sure you were looking at your daughter. They were smiling and proud, and for a moment just a little bit sad. Those are the moments that get us through the rest aren’t they? :)

  2. MarthaandMe says:

    Oh, that’s so great! Congrats to her! We taught our daughter (who was a bit of a klutz) to ride in our backyard on a small hill. I read about that method somewhere and the idea was they can just hold and on and the bike will go slowly down the hill and if they fall, they’re on grass. It worked well for us. And I know that I would beam if I saw a kid learning to ride a bike as I was driving by! It would make me remember my grandfather, who taught me, and my husband teaching our kids.

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