Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Learning To Ride

I was listening to a couple of dads today talking about teaching their kids to ride their bikes for the first time. As they were describing the day they first let go, you could hear the joy in their voices. I thought back to the time that I taught my oldest. We would go up and down the street every morning before school, each day going a little more. Her sister would be sitting in her car seat with a warm bottle of milk quietly watching, not understanding why we were laughing and giggling.

One day, I knew it was time.

And so I let go and smiled as I watched her get further and further away. "You're doing it!!" A little panic and then a BIG smile! She was so excited and swelling with pride knowing that she was the force making her bike go. And, wow ... I still feel tears welling up in me at the expression on her face that I can still see so vividly in my mind. I wondered today, listening to those guys, what was it that made me so happy then and even now in recollecting the day. I suppose there was the part that she accomplished something that had previously scared her. There was also the happiness in seeing the pure joy on my child's face. And, of course, the relief of knowing that I was released from running unnaturally crouched over a bike. But it was more than that.

It was the first time I let her go.

I knew then the impact that letting go would have on my heart. I knew that it would probably scare me... a lot. That I might feel unsure and want to grab hold and not let her go forward on her own. I knew that there would always be the danger of hindering her growth because of my insecurities. That I might... I could possibly stay unnaturally crouched over her forever. But I also knew then that I had to remember the look on her face that morning before school. I knew I would have to get used to letting her go, little by little... until one day, she would be off on her own.

This past weekend, my City Girl flew home from The City for a visit. She had people to see and places to go. But she still had time to hang out with Mom. It was so sweet...

We went for a bike ride.


I love you, Jazzy. Thanks for letting me let you go... and for coming back every now and then.



Jasmine said...

Way to make me cry. Guh. Hahaha

BVB said...

That is too sweet! You made me tear up, too (& I am not your daughter!). I am glad you share your blog with your daughters...

Hugs, Leslie