When my son was 5 years old, he wanted to learn to ride his two-wheeler. He had zoomed around on his green plastic three wheeled GI Joe trike for two years. He had a blue race car with four wheels that he pushed around with his legs since he was 2. He had a bright green and yellow John Deere tractor that he got for Christmas one year.
But now he was the proud owner of a shiny silver gray bicycle.
It was real metal.
With real pedals.
And only two (count 'em) wheels.
We had a gravel driveway that was pretty level, out in the country parts of RI, just a few miles to the right of Connecticut. So, being the good mother that I was, I proceeded to do what I'd seen all parents do to teach their child to ride.
I held the handle bars so he could get on.
Then I held the bike up, running by his side while he pedaled madly down our driveway, over rocks and lumps of grass and into and out of holes - none of which I had ever noticed before in such detail.
I transitioned to holding onto the back seat and ran bent over halfway keeping the bike up and on track as best I could.
We did that quite a few times before I did the surprise parental 'let go'. You know, the one where the child just starts riding, and looks back to see that no one is holding on.
Only every time I did that, he would veer off onto the side of the driveway, ending in a bush or tipping over and landing on his side somewhere on the lawn.
Looking back, I'm not sure how many times we tried this. It was a bit like me and golf. After 10 swings on one hole, I stop counting.
I do remember
tears were involved.
And I do remember at one point my son getting up off the ground, picking up his downed bike, and without looking at me, wheeling his bike past me on his way back to the garage. He carefully parked the new bike against the wall beside the car.
"Are you done for today?" I asked at him, knowing he must be exhausted - I was.
"I am not going to do that until I know how to do it!" he stated matter-of-factly.
And as ridiculous as that sounds, and sounded to me at the time,
I believe that is
what he did...
or didn't do
I love him.
BTW: Thank you to all who voted in the Think Kid, Think poetry matches! It was so much fun, and there are so many good poems to read. I made it through round 1, and am on to round 2 shortly. I will get my next word tomorrow night. I'll have 36 hours to write another piece...then voting starts again. Some are getting their words tonight and will be posting those Sunday morning. So make sure you go back to (or go to if you didn't yet) Ed DeCaria's site to read more great poetry and vote some more in a couple of days!