Santa delivered new bikes to my boys for Christmas…and my 4-year-old’s was equipped with training wheels. He’s been riding with training wheels for a couple years now, so about three days ago, when my 5-year-old niece was down from Denver, I took the three of them to the bike park. And, that’s when a joint decision was made between them and me that the training wheels would be removed.
Across the street from the cement bike park (not a good choice for learning to ride a 2 wheeler), is a huge soccer field with a sloping grassy hill at one end. My niece repeated numerous times to my 4-year-old that she would hold onto his seat while he was learning…as long as he went slow. He shouldn’t worry about anything.
Well, once at the hill, with my baby on his bike, facing down what seemed to his mother a very steep, unforgiving crash trap, I announced that I would be the one holding on to the seat.
Not the 5-year-old.
And, hold on I did. The entire way down. It was as if my right hand was glued to the back of his seat and my left hand to his left handlebar. There was no letting go. Never. I kept thinking, “Let go! Let go!” But that message did not travel from my brain to my hands. It was blocked by my heart.
So, at the bottom, I motivated, “Way to go! That was a good practice!”
And, at the half-way point up the hill, I told my older son and my niece that they could help this time. We positioned the bike and the rider facing downhill. My niece held the seat, my older son held the left handle bar. And, 12 feet later, They Let Go. It was very clear that they had utmost confidence in him and none of the mother’s-love-this-is-my-baby-thing going on.
They just let go! That was it! And, off he rode into oblivion.
None of us spoke. We couldn’t, our jaws were hanging near our knees.
Then, he crashed. And within about one second, our shock wore off.
The kids sprinted toward him like my sister running away from a rattlesnake: Hands flailing high in the air, feet barely touching the ground, screaming “YOU DID IT!!!! YOU DID IT!!!!!” Then dog piling him and his bike, still screaming and cheering…meanwhile he’s shouting, “Ow! Mom! My Arm! They’re Smashing My Arm!!!”
And, following in their footsteps, I ran and whooped and jumped and cheered and bear hugged him and then…checked his arm….and took him back up the hill for another round.
– The Proud Goat Cheese Lady