It is with a catch in my throat and a misty eye that I have to admit my son is growing up. Last night we took the training wheels off for the first time.
I wish I could say it was all my son's idea. This past week all of his favorite animated friends, from Caillou to Peppa Pig took off their stabilizers... er, training wheels. It seemed like the perfect time to make that leap.
But my son was scared and thought of a million excuses. We gently talked him into it. We both knew it was time. Time to make the break or worry that he would become too comfortable rocking back and forth on his training wheels.
My husband was true to his word and didn't let go.
In fact, he never let him hit the ground.
I learned to ride a bike the hard way. At 6 I was given my first bike with a banana seat. We took it to the grade school dirt track and my father gave me a push. I think the idea was falling hurt, so don't fall. Through tears and anger I tried and tried.... eventually I glided and raced. It was the school of hard knocks and scraped knees.
But that wasn't going to be my son's experience.
Our night out was full of smiles, laughter and a promise that we would keep practicing. All the time his parents will be right there with him.
My husband's grandfather told us about how he learned to ride a bike. Given a bike and an opportunity he was going to figure it out on his own. No one taught him or held his seat, but he still learned how to do it through pure determination.
We all have different methods and ideas about teaching our children. I can't say that one is better than the other and I don't fault anyone for teaching their child differently. The truth is kids learn to ride their bikes. Good, bad or otherwise skills come from attempts, practice and time.
But I hope that the memories also include that we taught him to ride with love.
How did you teach your children to ride a bike?