As Fast As She Wants

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.

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“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.

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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!”

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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.

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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.

16 thoughts on “As Fast As She Wants

  1. heather

    ill be the same way too.. my boys got their bikes for Christmas they did great so far with the training wheels… great job Gabby

  2. Rebecca Grace

    Hooray! What a blessing that you were able to grab your camera and capture these joyful moments forever. She looks so precious in her princess outfit on that bike!

  3. Kim

    Well of course she did! What other way is there to learn to ride a two-wheeler than in a Barbie helmet, pink princess dress and silver shiny shoes!! Good for you mom. I made my boys wear tennis shoes, pants and long sleeves! What a precious memory you have now.

  4. James E.

    Your photos of this wonderful event are just excellently composed. Well done. Again, you have motivated me to pick up my camera and get more shots of my daughter doing…everything!

  5. Daria

    What fantastic pictures! I think it is such a rite of passage – the day the training wheels come off. Congratulations on your little girls’ accomplishment and also being married to such a great Daddy! :)
    Happy New Year.
    Daria from Mom in Management

  6. Dana

    Hand to God, my husband was getting our children’s shoes and coats on as I started reading this post… preparing to take them all to a local parking lot to teach my oldest to ride without training wheels.
    Let’s hope she has the same success your daughter did.
    Congratulations!

  7. Mrs. Flinger

    Oh this gave me chills and tears. My daughter hasn’t learned either, and I always get so frustrated. The letting go, the allowing a fall to occur, the trust it takes on both parties. This is all too symbolic for me to not think perhaps it’s time for us to give it another try.
    Maybe we forgot the princess outfit.

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