Super W asked to do it all summer. He wanted to take the training wheels off of his bike. We kept telling him that we would do it, but Eric and I wanted to do it together. Eric’s busy work schedule kept us holding Super W back. “Just a little while longer,” we told him. He patiently waited… and waited… and waited.
The final straw for him came in the form of two of his little neighborhood friends who came by the house one day in the full glory of what it is to ride on two wheels. His determination to do the same was unmatched.
Shortly after, Eric took the training wheels off of Super W’s first bike. It was an image that I had dreamed of for a long time – seeing his father teaching him to ride.
My dad taught me to ride. I still remember the exhilarating moment of realizing that he was no longer holding on to the seat and that I was riding by myself. I ran into the house for my mom so that she could see and rode around our cult-de-sac for hours. I felt so “grown-up.” It was a proud moment for my five year old little self.
Super W tried his best, but the balancing act seemed to be impossible. As his frustration grew, we encouraged him to try again another day. Working while giving your best effort and not giving up are two big themes in our family.
The next day, we loaded up the bike and went to our church parking lot. It was the perfect spot that provided a wide, flat surface. After Eric had worked with him for awhile, he let me take a turn.
We worked hard as I stressed the importance of pedaling and keeping momentum. It soon became clear that Super W’s biggest hindrance was the fear of falling down.
“It’s okay to be afraid and you might fall. Everyone has fallen down at some time or another – especially when they’re learning,” I told him. I showed him an ugly scar on my knee obtained from one of my childhood bike wrecks. I shared how I had pushed my bike home while blood trailed all the way down to my ankle. My mother cleaned me up and, even though it had taken me awhile to work up the courage, I eventually climbed back on my bike again. Honestly, I don’t know if he really cared about the point I was trying to make because he was so intrigued with the scar. Boys.
The minutes kept ticking by and he kept trying until, before I knew it, Super W took off on his own. His legs were pedaling hard as he rode towards his Dad with me screaming behind him, “YOU’RE DOING IT! YAAAAAY!”
The smile and astonishment on his face was priceless. He couldn’t- wouldn’t – stop riding. He was doing it by himself. My baby was growing up before my eyes. Wasn’t it just yesterday that we wrapped him in a little blanket and brought him home for the first time? As I watched him revel in the satisfaction of his new-found independence, my heart was too full of joy to be sad.
What else can I say? He loves to ride his bicycle. He LOVES to ride his bike!