Half his life ago, my friend Ross sent Colt a sweet bike for this 4th birthday. I remember thinking what a huge upgrade it was in size and skill from the tricycle and ride-on toys he’d had before that — and a “big bike” was so far in the future I know I never even gave it a thought.
After an intense year or so of riding the new bike, years went by and he only had mild-at-best interest in riding. We never got a bigger one when we probably should have, and Jeff and I just assumed he’d either be into it again someday – or not.
Then, a few weeks ago.
“Mommy! We started bike safety in PE! Can I ride my bike when we get home?”
And, of course, we did.
After several minutes, I offered to take the training wheels off, and he declined.
“I think I want to do that with Coach Thomas, at school.”
“You don’t wanna learn to ride your bike with me and Daddy?”
“Well… Coach Thomas has done this lots of times. And… well… how many kids have YOU taught to ride a bike with no training wheels?”
The man had a point.
So we left him alone, and sure enough he came home from school this week ready to show off his new skills.
And after hearing of his reignited love for riding (and seeing photos of him looking like a circus bear on his now-tiny bike in his beanie of a helmet) — Ross came to the rescue, again! I got the text today that the new bike had been delivered and built — and was ready to roll.
As we picked out a new helmet in the shop, I kept glancing over at The New Bike. It looked HUGE. It had gears and hand-brakes and looked like a bike for a giant – not my 8 year old. All the way home, he jabbered about the new bike and how he’d told Coach Thomas at school he was getting a bigger bike and he was so excited about riding it and bike bike BIKE!
He scarfed down his dinner – while wearing the new helmet – and we headed outside.
Moment of truth.
It was pretty tall, and quite different from the smaller bike he’d been tooling around on all week — and I offered to help him, at first. We were both frustrated quickly, and I recalled his strategy of bypassing me completely and relying on the experts. Smart kid.
Once I got out of the way and quit trying to “help” – he had it.
(Toward the end. “Are my turns impressive?” HA!)
He rode up and back and up and back and up and back, until he was sweaty and exhausted and as pleased with himself as I’ve ever seen him. I have spent years now in awe of this kid and today was no different — I was genuinely impressed. Balance, strength, confidence. And a healthy dose of stubbornness.
Buddy, you did it. YOU did it.