An Awesome Day of...Bike Riding!


Last week, my husband took the training wheels and pedals off of Lewie's bike.  Then, for several days, Lewie started walking and gliding with it to gain his balance.  He was getting there--I even posted about it. 

This week, I took Friday off to spend time with Lewie on his April vacation.  We brought his bike out in our driveway, and he practiced coasting from the top of the driveway to the garage.  On his fifth try, I saw a transformation.  The kid that was once using his feet to steady himself was now coasting with feet up--fully confident with his new skill.  "Let's try again," I'd say, excited to watch his progress in such a short time. 

On Saturday, yesterday, I instructed my husband to put Lewie's pedals back on:  "You're probably not going to believe this, but Lewie's ready to ride. I just know it."  I had Lewie demonstrate his new skill in the driveway, and then we went to our town's rec center where he would have more room to pedal.

At first, we started out in the grass.  We'd push Lewie as his feet were on the pedals, and Daddy would run with him, holding the back of his seat for support.  After a few tries in the grass, Lewie was ready for pavement.  After a short while, it was clear that Lewie was riding on his own, but my husband just wouldn't stop holding onto the back seat of the bike.  "Lew, let go!" I commanded.  I repeated myself again and again.

Then, my husband, tired from all the running with Lewie, wearily let go of the bike;  Lewie was, in fact, riding on his own!  "Look, you're doing it," we cheered to Lewie.  "You're riding on your own without any training wheels!" 

It was a magical moment.  So magical that we didn't want the riding to stop. 

There have been many milestones in Lewie's seven years--first word, first step, first day of school, etc.  In these milestones, we cheer.  We get excited.  Sometimes, we even brag.  Then, for a brief moment, we also lament.  This new skill is another step toward independence--another action that doesn't need Mommy or Daddy.  It's scary to "let go."  I know what my husband was feeling..."What if I let go and he falls?"  "What if I let go, and he doesn't need me anymore?"  Both thoughts are terrifying.  And yet, that's what we do as parents.  That's what we must do.  Our job is to give our children wings...

Yesterday was one of the most gratifying days of my life because I gave Lewie the tools and the confidence to succeed, and yet tears are dropping on my keyboard as I write this.  I'm happy Lewie learned how to ride--I'm already daydreaming about bike trips, boardwalks, and trail riding.  Still, I cry because Lewie is growing up.  This is the great paradoxes of parenthood I suppose.  And life...well it rolls on!

One happy boy!!



Lewie loves riding his bicycle with training wheels.  He rode all last year with them on, but they, of course, didn't teach him how to have balance. 

This year, I'm determined to teach Lewie how to ride.  I learned when I was his age (seven), so I figure we can keep the age a long running family tradition.  When I was first learning, I remember countless days of trying to ride while my mom ran with me, her arms balancing my handlebars.  Then, on one sunny afternoon, it just clicked.  I put my feet on the pedals, rolled down our driveway, and voila, I was riding!

After watching some advice online, my husband and I decided to take off Lewie's training wheels and pedals, so his bike could be more like a balance bike.  We first went to our local park where he practiced on a flat track around our softball fields.  "Push, push, glide," I commanded.  We practiced for a good hour, but then Lewie spotted his favorite cousin Sarah playing tennis with one of her friends, and the rest of the day was history.

On Sunday, I decided to take Lewie to the college where I work.  Since our college tends to function more as a commuter school, I knew most of the parking lots would be barren, and there's hills too.  We practiced pushing and gliding, but we also practiced coasting down some inclines too.  Sometimes he appeared to have his balance, and sometimes he relied on his feet the whole time.  We practiced for several hours, and we did get one step closer.  (Plus, there were no kids [or cousins] around to distract him.)

This week, being spring break, we're determined to get more practice--either in our driveway or at my college again.  I'm looking forward to reporting some exciting news soon...

Lewie sitting in Mommy's big office chair after some major practicing.

First Friend (that's a Girl!)


Lewie has made a number of friends this year in first grade.  He has his two friends from Cub Scouts, Brody and Hunter; his friends from school, Justin, Aidan, and Erik; and his friends from previous years, Ryan, Patrick, Landon, Kirsten, etc.

Still, he has the friends he has made (because Mommy happens to be friends with their moms) and the friends he's made because well, he's actually "clicked" with these boys on his own.  Lately, however, Lewie has been mentioning a girl he likes in class too. 

Lewie:  "Mommy, I let her cut me in line all the time, and she tells me, 'Lewie, you are such a good boy!'"

Me:  "Oh, well that's a very nice thing to do."  (Is that how I'm supposed to reply?)

Lewie:  "Mommy, she makes my heart so happy."

Me:  "That's sweet."

Lewie:  "Yes, I'd like to have a play date with her."

Now, there have been a few rare occasions when Lewie has actually asked to have a play date with someone (boy or girl), but usually it is a fleeting request that happens once and is never asked again.  This time is different... and this weekend, I had the chance of meeting this little girl (and her mom) at one of their classmate's birthday parties. 

So far, I must say that my son has good taste.  This little girl is a sweetheart, and her mom and I have already become fast friends.  I suspect that a future play date will be in the works...