This past Christmas, Santa brought my kids something I’d been waiting for for a long time.
Henry, 2, got his first Big Wheel, complete with a big old push-handle for dad to help scoot him around. And Violet, 4, got her first balance bike so she can learn the ropes of doing it herself.
And now that the sun has finally shown up in our neck of the woods, the time has come for us to venture out in the church parking lot down the road and start learning to ride!
As a parent, teaching my kids to be able to ride a bike is probably one of the things I have been most looking forward too AND dreading at the same time. I love bikes and some of the most powerful lingering memories I have from my own childhood are the ones when I recall the feeling of sweet summer evening air blowing through my bowl cut as I pedaled my Mongoose faster and faster up and down the streets around my neighborhood.
Riding a bike is a rite of passage for every kid and I feel bad for any child anywhere who can’t experience that for whatever reason.
Still, as a parent now, I somewhat dread the nerve-wracking grip I’m bound to have on my daughter’s shoulder and her handlebars as i try and steer her toward a kind of physical and soulful independence she has never really had before. Being able to ride a bike on your own is a huge step toward growing up, huh? And, of course, as much as I want my kids to be able to do that, I also understand that it is symbolic of the fact that they are moving away from me, even as I teach them stuff.
I can’t wait though. I cannot wait until the moment, after all of the tears and scraped elbows have faded away, when I let go of each of my kids and they pedal their little legs so hard in a herky jerky line down the road all by themselves.
I just cannot wait.
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