When G was writing her letter to Santa, I asked her if she wanted a new bike.
“You’ve grown so much, you should ask Santa for a bigger bike!” She looked up at me and said “But Mommy, I don’t even know how to ride my little bike without training wheels yet. I’ll ask Santa for a new bike when I learn how to do that!”
I was overcome with guilt.
I taught both of her brothers to ride sans training wheels when they were just 4 years old. It’s not that I haven’t tried to teach her- I have. But teaching G how to ride a bike was a completely different experience. I told myself “She’s just not ready.” The truth was, I lost patience and gave up.
I promised myself that I would teach her how to ride her bike after Christmas.
On Tuesday afternoon, I was inside the house, cleaning up the kitchen. My phone rang– it was Tony. “Come outside, your daughter is learning how to ride her bike without her training wheels.”
I grabbed my camera and ran outside.
I saw my beautiful little girl, in all of her princess glory, sitting on her princess pink bike with the biggest smile on her princess face.
“I’m not scared to learn anymore, Mommy!” She said. “Aren’t you proud of me?”
I watched as she pedaled and wobbled from side to side while screaming “hold me, Daddy! I don’t want to fall!” I watched as my husband ran alongside of her, holding her bike with his hand because he didn’t want her to fall.
I watched as my husband let go of her bike, but stayed close by. I watched as my daughter pedaled all by herself, without realizing she was riding her bike without being held up. I watched as she realized it and as she screamed with joy. “I’M DOING IT ALL BY MYSELF! WEEEEE!”
I watched as my husband ran behind her, letting go at times, holding her tightly at times. And I started to cry, because I was proud of my daughter, but also because I was witnessing what being a parent is all about right before my eyes. Learning when to let go, when to hold them tight and always being there to help them up when they fall.
Two days ago, my daughter couldn’t ride her bike without training wheels. Today, she can ride as fast as she wants.
Looks like she’ll be getting that bigger bike very soon.