Life Lessons and Bike Riding

It was a glorious weekend here in Maryland. I *think* Spring may have FINALLY arrived! We had the windows open, our daughter’s first lacrosse game of the season, nothing but running around in the fresh air. All weekend long. It was amazing.

It was also a big weekend for another reason. My 6 year old learned how to ride a bike. She went to bed Friday night and said, “Mommy, I want to take off my training wheels tomorrow. I’m ready.”

She’s always been our timid one. Our overthinker. Extremely cautious about everything. She will actually tell us if she thinks a show she’s watching is inappropriate for someone her age. It’s hilarious. With her personality comes many wonderful things – I love her responsibility, her ability to make the right choices, her intelligence…but sometimes I wish she could relax and let loose a little more. (Pot calling the kettle black?! Such a Mini-Me;)

So the fact that she approached us and said she wanted to learn to ride her bike was surprising. In typical fashion though, I could tell it was something she had thought about before she decided she was ready.

We returned from her lacrosse game, and sure enough, she asked my husband to get his tools to take off the wheels.

While Paul was removing them, she was asking us some questions.

It was then that I realized how learning to ride a bike…well, it’s pretty much every life lesson she’ll ever need to know.

“What if I fall?”

If you do, you’ll be ok. You’ll get up, brush yourself off, and get back on.

“What if it hurts?”

It might a little. But nothing you can’t handle. And we won’t let go until you’re ready.
Just remember to keep pedaling, one foot in front of the other.”
And steer in the right direction.
Believe in yourself, you can do this.

And then there was our talk about facing our fears. I could tell she was a little anxious.

We talked about how sometimes it’s the things in life that scare us that turn out to be the very best and most exciting experiences.

We talked about how she was afraid to get past her ankles in the ocean two summers ago, but last summer she faced her fear and had the best vacation ever.

How she didn’t want to get on the rides at the amusement park at first, and then she had so much fun, she never wanted to get off.

Her face softened, she smiled, and she was ready.
They took just a couple spins around, and Paul let go for a couple seconds.
Then a couple seconds more.
She was a pro in minutes. The look on her face, the squeals of happiness and pride…

It was priceless.

She was telling every neighbor later that day. Rode her bike all weekend long, basking in her accomplishment with a huge smile on her face.

I could tell she learned a lot more than just how to ride her bike this weekend. She tried something she was afraid of, and she NAILED IT. There was a confidence in our little girl that bloomed literally in seconds and before our very eyes. And yes, she fell, but hopped back up and started pedaling again.

If that isn’t life, I don’t know what is.

As for Paul and me…we learned a lot too.

You teach them, you help them, you believe in them. And when it’s time…

…you have to let them go.

Leave a Reply