Saturday, February 28, 2009

Major Milestone

Child One learned how to ride a bike today. We had tried last year and she and I had had some epic battles on the local playground. I think that neither of us was ready. We put the training wheels back on her bike and she puttered around the neighborhood all summer and fall, perfectly content. Perfectly content that is until she realized, in early fall, that she could not keep up with the other kids who had all learned to ride two wheelers that spring and summer.

This winter we've been talking about getting out and learning so she could buzz around this spring and afterward. Today was a beautiful day, crystal clear but blustery and cold and we headed to the playground to give it a try. Within 20 minutes of trying, and one break to goof around on the jungle gym and swings she'd mastered it. The whole family was there and it was a great moment. She was beaming and proud and a bit amazed that she'd figured it out. I was totally psyched for her, and little bit for me -- I'd completed one of the mandatory tasks of fatherhood and taught a child to ride a bike.

It was interesting to watch her buzz around and see how far and fast she could get away from me. Learning to ride a bike is a major milestone, truly one of the instances when you realize as a parent, in a very concrete way, that your children are free in the world and will explore much of it without you. We teach them to explore this world. We teach them to ride a bike. We give them the tools they need to go out on their own. Amazing.

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