Tuesday, December 11, 2012

When The Training Wheels Come Off

"I am still learning." - Michelangelo

   I knew this day was coming, and I learned more than one lesson in the process. My 'Lil Miss took some time learning how to pedal a bike. About few months ago, a few more girls her age moved into the neighborhood and we were outside more than ever. The bike was in full use and I started to notice about a month ago that my 'Lil Miss was coasting down the sidewalk and I couldn't hear the sound of the training wheels touching the ground (it was like the scream of a banshee!). She made a game of trying to not let those training wheels touch the ground. A little over a week ago, she traded bikes with one of her friends, who then promptly tried to attack a large electrical box in our front yard with it.
   I was trying to fix the bent training wheels, when my girl asked if she could leave them off. Trying to suppress the cynicism in my voice, I told her she'd most likely fall, and I didn't have the energy to run along side her holding her seat. MUCH protesting later, I threw my hands up and said okay. She got on and we started down the sidewalk. Within about 20 feet, I took my hands off to show her she was doing it all by herself, ready to be there for her. It's been almost two weeks and I haven't touched the bike seat since.
   I swiftly ate my own hat and stood in amazement at how fast my baby is growing. Seeing her breeze past me over the next several days was crazy to see. Her first crash didn't happen until day 5. I told her we'd go in for Band-Aid treatment and through the tears and crying she says, "Okay, but I want to come back out after, okay?!?" Her love for bike riding is clear. I think the time we took to encourage, participate, etc. has all paid off.
   So spend the time, no matter what the activity. The payoff is huge.


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