My boy didn’t give up all day Sunday. He sat on his two-wheeled bike, adjusted the pedal so that it was at the northern-most direction, placed his foot on it and rode until the pedal went a half of a turn to the southern-most direction; and then threw both his feet down on the ground to stop himself.
He started the process again. And again. And again.
Every time Jon and I would try to hold the back of his bike to give him a little push to get him started, he would berate us and push our hands away.
“I can do it myself!”
He’s a determined little sucker. He wants to accomplish things on his own. But he also wants you to watch his every move while he works on them. And if you don’t, he lets you know. At football on Saturday, I coached Mario after a play he made telling him to make sure to run after the ball. He darted over to me on the sidelines and yelled “you weren’t even watching me, mom, so don’t talk to me because I don’t have to listen to you!” (I had been listening to Maria read me a book during his play and had not had my undivided attention on him).
A tad bull-headed.
But being bull-headed has its positive side. Mario was not going to let Monday roll around until he could pedal a few turns without falling. Jon and I took turns watching him start and stop and start and stop and start…. Maria tried to coach him, too, instructing him to get a running start before putting his feet on the pedals. He actually listened to her and tried it but clearly felt like that move was a little too risky for him.
Nonetheless, by the time we went inside Sunday evening, he was able to pedal three or four turns before falling to one side. On Monday evening, he was able to go up or down the driveway before screeching to a halt. Jon and I watched with pride and amazement as he biked from the mid-point of the drive to the end. We cheered and roared as though he won the Olympics.
Tonight, he biked on the sidewalk of our street. He cranked out three or four house lengths before rolling into the grass and starting over. Incredible. Just last week Maria complained about Mario never wanting to try the two-wheeled bike and Mario was adamant that he would not give into her complaints. He had no desire to ride a bike sans training wheels. But something or someone changed his mind on Sunday and now there is no turning back.
Yet another milestone achieved. A milestone that pushes him towards independence and self-sufficiency. After all, once you can bike, you can go anywhere (isn’t that a Dr. Seuss rhyme?!).
Why is it that the mind understands that these babies of ours need to grow up but the heart so desperately wants to keep them young?
I stood and watched his tiny determined face as he situated the pedals just right and took off down the sidewalk. My little munch was not so little any longer. Five years old and riding a bike and playing football and operating a computer. He’s set.
I can only imagine the short amount of time it will take before he begins begging to ride to the next street over, then the next, and then even further away. But for now I will soak in his response when I told him that he was an official two-wheeled bike rider:
“This is great mom. Now the whole family can ride two-wheeled bikes together.”
Always thinking of his family – my sweet biking son.