Sniff, sniff (that's me tearing up), they don't stay little for long, do they? It truly never grows old for me to watch my children master life. Whether they are one years old, or seventeen. This past summer (another boo-hoo, I can't believe summer is over!) Jonah mastered the fine art of swinging himself on the swing sets (at our local parks). This is usually one milestone that helps me out, since that is one less child that needs to be pushed on the swings. At the start of summer I had 4 kiddos that needed pushing (Jed, Jonah, Aubrey and Merida). Usually I always have at least one in the 'needs pushing mode', if not two. It's been this way since Isabella had her first go in a swing some 17 years ago!
With that great big feat of tackling the coordination needed for swinging Jonah totally blew me away yesterday when he tackled another of life's big achievements (for the wee crowd that is). One of the favorite activities of the boys, when we are outside, is to walk their bikes up our road. The road is uphill from our house. They then ride down the hill at top speed, adding much grey hair to my head! Yesterday after a couple of runs down the hill Jonah asks if I can fix his bike. He points out that one of his training wheels is up too high, causing him to swerve all over the place. Just for the heck of it, I say, "Hey, buddy, why don't we just take those training wheels off and see if you can ride your bike without them?" To my surprise he was all for it! He went in and got the needed tool, and took them off himself! I was trying to give him instructions for learning to balance on two wheels. We have helped 4 children so far master the fine art of bike riding. Each has needed their 'own way' of doing it. (Believe it or not, Flannery, our most physical and agile child, took almost a YEAR to learn to ride her bike....at the age of 8 no less!) One way that seems to help them all to at least learn the balancing act is to push themselves along and then let their legs do the balancing out to the sides of the bike. I attempt to give a visual for this, which proved difficult seeing as how I had no bike, and was holding a baby. Flannery happened to come out at that moment and I asked her to show him. BUT before she was even able to show him, Jonah got on his bike, and not only balanced on two wheels, BUT was pedaling!!!!! As if he's been doing this all of his life. Ok, not quite, but we never had a child just start riding a bike from the first push!!! He is still needing to learn how to use the breaks. Can we say, 'more grey hairs'? Oy.
Sniff, sniff. Usually there is this processing time of seeing your child learning a new skill, watching them grow before you. We seemed to skip that 'processing' time this time around! That's ok, I still have three more that will need to learn how to swing, and ride a bike. As a matter of fact, Jedidiah made it abundantly clear that he does NOT want his training wheels taken off.....ever! I tried explaining that big boy bikes don't come with training wheels, so eventually he was going to have to learn to ride without them. He insisted that he wasn't going to learn. Ha, ha! I do give him credit though for learning to swing himself. Although he does have the actions down, he doesn't have the strength to put behind it to get too far. I know that will come with time.