Saturday, August 9, 2008

Look Mom! No training wheels.

It started with Ariel. Ariel who just turned 3. Ariel who gave up her tricycle for a big girl bike less then a month ago. She wanted her training wheels off. At first we dismissed the idea, and then I said, "Why not?"

Jeff brought out the tools and went to work on her bike. At first Belle showed little interest in riding her bike without training wheels. She watched Ariel as she teetered and balanced. She watched her little sister do something for the first time, something Belle was not ready to try yet. It didn't take long before Belle wanted her training wheels off too.

One thing I learned today is that Jeff is an excellent teacher. The girls wanted their Daddy. They prefer Jeff's strong support, technique that keeps them balanced, and the soothing way in which he instructs them. Jeff was a superstar today. He gave each of the girls his loving support and attention. I watched as their apprehension turned to pure joy. The joy of growing up. The joy of freedom.

By the end of the day the training wheels were back on both of their bikes. I think they enjoyed the experience, but love the speed and stability that comes with training wheels even more.

Ironically both girls crashed their bikes in the late afternoon when their training wheels were back on. Ariel ran into a mail box, but absorbed most of the impact with her helmet. Belle tipped over and skinned both her knees. It goes to show - bike safety has less to do with training wheels and everything to do with watching where you are going.