“It worked mama!” My daughter exclaimed. “I saw a ladybug and I wished on it and my wish came true!”
She told me she wished to learn how to ride her bike that afternoon. On two wheels that is.
We set out to check the mail. My son asked if he could bring his bike–A balance bike. And my daughter wanted to bring hers too.
My husband took the training wheels off of it a couple of weeks ago, but they hadn’t had much time to practice together.
“Do you want to teach her?” I had asked him. “It’s sort of one of those Daddy right of passages.”
“Yea, I’ll teach her!” He said.
But we had a few cold days, followed by a family vacation and then he was back to work. I wasn’t sure how likely it was she’d actually master the process in a day but what the heck, it was worth a shot. Or we could at least get some practice in.
She tiptoed on her bike a half a mile to the playground. She felt discouraged on the way there because every time she tried to lift her legs and pedal she’d quickly lose her balance.
“It’s much harder to learn on this uneven sidewalk,” I told her. “Just wait until we get to the playground and have more space.”
The sidewalks have cracks, bumps, uneven areas and cars blocking the way. It was a challenging course for any rider.
Once we reached the playground her brother tossed off his helmet and ran to the slides. I asked Lil’ J if she wanted to play or keep practicing and she said she wanted to keep trying to ride her bike.
I ran down the sidewalk with her two, three, four times. Each time she went a little further. She crashed and burned a couple of times but she’d get back up, determined to try again.
Finally, after about six runs I gave her an initial push but let her take it from there. She didn’t stop. I ran behind her to the end of the sidewalk cheering her on. She pedaled backwards and came to a stop and I gave her a high five. She beamed with pride.
She did it a few more times and once she got comfortable I took out my camera to take pictures of the occasion.
As I watched her determination and tried to capture the moment as best as I could, I noted the date–February 18th, also my brother’s birthday–My daughter learned how to ride her bike. She balanced on two wheels for the first time.
Then it struck me… Her firsts are slowing down. Her first smile, first word, first steps, first time using the potty, first day of school… They’re all behind us. How many more will we have?
So we celebrated. I told her this was a big deal in need of a treat and we went out for ice cream.
Losing her first tooth, first daddy/daughter dance, her picking up a book to read for her own leisure, first tryouts, first time driving a car… There are more to look forward to but I can sense they’re slowing down. I don’t want them to end or become less sweet.
I don’t know how many more “firsts” will have her jumping up and down with excitement or pining for ice cream. But I know I’m going to cherish each one.