After several starts and fits of trying to ride around our driveway on her bike with training wheels, Siena declared yesterday that she wanted to take the training wheels off and try to ride at her school, which has, unlike our driveway, some straight and level stretches. I wasn’t optimistic. With the training wheels on, she wasn’t going very fast, was leaning the wrong way into turns, and had trouble even starting the bike when the pedals weren’t just exactly so. I think with the pressure of knowing that many of her classmates are riding, she determined that she was going to do it too.
And fantastically, it all clicked. After only a few minutes, she pulled off the following feat:
She didn’t see me, but I was quietly dancing and celebrating behind her. I can’t find the right words to describe the feeling, and I suspect it is one of those moments where, as cliched as it sounds, you have to be a parent and have been through it yourself to really understand the feeling of watching your child master such a seemingly basic, fundamental, yet utterly challenging skill and rite of childhood passage.
She went out again later in the afternoon with Mama and was even better, and today she went out again with me and was demonstrably better, traveling for minutes at a time without stopping or putting her feet on the ground. So amazing.