We welcomed a warm start to fall at the beach, then embraced slightly cooler weather, enjoying the return to jeans and short sleeves as the leaves began to turn. Then, last week summer weather returned and we jumped at the chance to spend everyday outside. During that week Michael and Rebekah both learned to ride two-wheel bicycles! Our old house did not have a convenient place to take the children to ride, but our new house has a nearby quiet and barely sloped cul-de-sac perfect for learning to ride.
One afternoon, after we painted pumpkins in the front yard Miriam asked to ride her bike on the street. I agreed that she could go up and down the street in front of our house as long as she stayed in my eyesight. Michael and Rebekah were jealous of their sister’s fun and begged to join her. I stated that they had to be off training wheels and sturdy on their bikes before they could tackle the street alone. Michael wanted his training wheels removed immediately. I negotiated for waiting until the following afternoon when Daddy would be home to help us.
The next afternoon, Michael was riding solo on two wheels within 15 minutes of taking his training wheels off! I knew he was ready, but I didn’t expect him to take off so quickly. By the following day he was taking turns as fast as possible and speeding down the little cul-de-sac hill before skidding to a stop at the end.
Rebekah decided she’d rather wait until turning 10 before removing her training wheels, but I could tell that she was more than ready, though her bike was on the verge of too small. The next day while surfing Craigslist I found a bigger bicycle for her. As we picked it up on the way home from church, I told her that it didn’t come with training wheels so it was time to learn to ride. She asked if we could go ahead and try it that afternoon. It turned out to be a very dramatic afternoon as she struggled to get over her fear leaving the safety of training wheels behind. For half an hour she cried as she pedaled and I held her steady, promising to act as her training wheels until she was ready to take off on her own. By the end of our time she was sure she never wanted to ride a bicycle again. However, the next afternoon I required her to give it another shot and sure enough before the half hour was over she was riding her bicycle all by herself. She was so proud. As she rode up and down the cul-de-sac I could hear her singing, “This is fun, this is easy…I don’t know why I was scared!” She did take a tumble that afternoon and got a small scrape on her elbow, but she got right back on her bike and has been riding ever since! She says that it is “easy peasy, lemon squeezy!”