On Motherhood /6/ Guest Post
Welcome to another Guest Post from Amy over at Raising Men, Finding Me. Today she shares about her little boy learning to ride his bike and I think it's really sweet. (p.s. I am aware that I chose a photo (above) of a boy riding an airplane and not a bicycle, but I was aiming for the essence of her words with this one.) Ready? Here ya go...
At the beginning of this summer, my four-year old son Aidan began learning how to ride a bike. One day we dug out an old hand-me-down bike that was hidden beneath a mountain of plastic sand toys, dump trucks, and beach balls in the back of our garage. After some cajoling, Aidan agreed to try to ride it. Wearing his Buzz Lightyear helmet, he pedaled the wobbly blue bike down our street. It was difficult for him, but he kept at it. I held on to the bike’s seat and helped him to steer. Every few days, we would set out on that bike. Each time he did a little better than the last time, but I always had my hand on the bike, and we usually ended up walking it back home.
At the beginning of this past week, Aidan became determined to master riding the bike. I cannot be sure, but perhaps his sense of urgency came from a realization that summer had ended and soon it would be too cold for bike riding. His determination translated into him trying new techniques to pedal the bike down our street. He found that if he leaned over the handlebars, he could get a better angle to push down on the pedals. He often jammed on the brake while he pedaled, but he discovered that if he slowed his pedaling, he did not brake as much as when he pedaled wildly, so he eased up a bit and was able to maintain more control over the brake. A few times, he fell. I thought that the act of falling might discourage him, but he laughed, and so I laughed. We called his falls “wipe-outs,” and then, he’d get right back on the bike and go.
Mid-week he pedaled to the first stop sign where he saw the mailman delivering mail at the end of our street. Aidan wanted to show him how he could ride a bike, so he pedaled further down our street to the big maple tree, the one with a “tricky” curve beside it. Aidan negotiated the curve flawlessly. He was finding his stride. On Friday, we took the old blue bike to a bike repair shop, where for $21 they changed a worn tire and gave it a tune-up. Later that afternoon, Aidan got on his bike and quickly took off down the street, passed the first stop sign, round the tricky curve by the big maple tree and kept right on going. As he rode, he waved to some neighborhood kids, who ignored him, but he didn’t seem to mind - he kept right on pedaling. He was awesome. I was so proud of him. It felt good to watch him ride his bike down the street all by himself – full of confidence, pride, and joy. Tonight, we walked the neighborhood as a family. Aidan rode his bike while his little brother rode in the red stroller behind him, all the while observing what his older brother’s hard work and determination had accomplished during one summer on a little ol’ blue bike.