Eat and I had a wonderful bonding moment last week. He came in while I was cooking dinner.
E: Mom, I’m going to ride my two wheel bike now.
K: Great (not really paying attention).
E: Mom, I need some help because my bike is too big.
We bought a bike for Ethan a year ago at a Boy Scout yard sale. It was way too big for him but it was cheap and he had clearly outgrown his bike with training wheels. When he was three. He never rode it because I tried to get him to ride without training wheels when we bought it and he was all, “No thanks, I’ll ride my scooter.” He hadn’t ridden any bike in over a year. This was big news.
K: Buddy, I’m making your dinner. Dad isn’t going to be home until after you guys go to bed. We are going to have to do this tomorrow morning.
He looked at me with a disappointment that I’m sure I will see many times in his life. He sighed. “Okay, Mom.”
The next morning I opened my eyes to him staring into mine from 3 inches away.
K: Yes. We can go today.
I put both of the smaller kids on the inside of the fence and began my speech from the road as I stood beside his bike.
K: You will probably fall sometimes. Riding a bike isn’t always easy. But you don’t have to give up. Mom will be right beside you the whole time and we’ll just keep trying until you learn.
I then realized that his tires were flat, the chain was slightly lose and his hand brakes (who has hand brakes on a kid bike???) weren’t working. So I found a bike pump and pumped the tires up. I acted like I knew what I was doing. He bought it but I don’t know why.
I handed him his bike and started with the Ginny Hammond pep talk again. I grabbed his seat and he climbed up on the seat with his feet on the pedals. He couldn’t touch the ground. He looked at me and interrupted my you-are-the-awesomest speech.
E: Let’s go, Mom.
With his brothers cheering him on from behind the fence, I began to run beside him. On the fourth step, I let go of the seat.
And he was gone. Without teetering or faltering once. It was like he had been doing it forever. Now, 8 days later, this is him on the bike in the back yard, going down a hill I refuse to mow because it is so ridged and steep I’m pretty sure I’m going to flip the mower.
8 days. I’m scared to death.