Saying goodbye to training wheels is a right of passage for just about any kid, and Erin passed it with almost flying colors. For the last week or so, Van and I have been breaking our backs trying to help her reach this milestone. We’ve been going up and down, and up and down, and up and down (you get the idea) our block barely holding onto Erin’s handlebars while she got her balance and confidence on her pink and purple hand-me-down Schwinn bicycle. She got the bike when Olivia outgrew it, but she made it her own with a bell, which she apparently rang one too many times, because we had to replace it today.
But back to the task at hand: riding WITHOUT training wheels. For the last several days Erin was able to ride for a few seconds on her own if she was able to focus on something or someone. Olivia was usually the someone, and would run back and forth down the block as the focal point. Erin would wait until Olivia got to her mark, and she would then pedal away saying, “Olivia, Olivia, I need to get to Olivia.” She actually made it to her sister a few times.
Today, Van did what he did with Olivia. He took Erin to the neighborhood middle school with a big wide open playground.
Here’s the result:
The camera may have been a bit shaky, but Erin was rock steady! I’ll forgive the shaky cam ’cause Van had to videotape while jogging to keep up with our young cyclist. Yep, I’m one proud Momma, actually getting a little ferklempt as I write this.
She’s in for a big year. First she’s on her way to mastering bike riding, and in two short weeks she’ll embark on her first day of kindergarten. No wonder I’m getting teary eyed. I know Erin’s more than ready for kindergarten. She’s already on the verge of reading, and can do some basic addition and subtraction. She’s a pretty bright kid, and she knows it. Just yesterday, she told me she has a really big brain.
She also knows that as good as she thinks she is at something, she’s bound to have a few falls along the way.
That’s what happened this evening when Erin gave biking down our block another go. Either some rose bushes jumped out at her, or she biked right into them, but the end result was some pretty nasty scrapes from some thorny roses. It’s nothing that Scooby Doo and Dora band-aids couldn’t make better, but the fall also serves as what I think are a couple of pretty important lessons. First, when you fall down, you have to get back up again. Second, just because you’ve done something good one time, doesn’t mean you’re always going to get it right. I hope she remembers this day, as she heads off for bigger and better things in kindergarten.