Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easy Rider

My 8 year old learned to ride his bike today, like ten zillion kids before him and another ten zillion to come. This particular right of passage, though, was hard fought and hard won. My boy has been risk averse his whole life- well, except for that one time when he was three and he stepped over a big brown snake in the backyard, but we won't go into that one because it gives me an irresistible urge to wash off the heeby-jeebies.

Actually, hang on a sec. I'm going to grab a quick shower.

Okay, I'm back.

So, my risk averse boy has been afraid of his bike since we took the training wheels off. Not just leery, but full-on afraid to the point that the mere mention of his two wheeler would send him into fits and tears and hyperventilation. I had almost given up ever having a family bike ride, had allowed myself to believe that this single thing was just too hard for my little boy. I believed that he wasn't strong enough to overcome it.

Then I saw him scooter. Apparently, his babysitter had a couple of razor scooters and the kids were taking turns on them after school and had been for quite some time. When it came to the scooter, my darling was a serious badass. He was fearless. He was a speed demon. He was an 8 year old X-Gamer.

I hatched a plan. If the babysitter was a brave place for him, if courage grew in the grass under her oak tree, then maybe the bike would be less terrifying and more possible there than it was here. I pondered, I puzzled, I weighed the pros (fully mobile kid who can do things his peers can do!) with the cons (broken arms! broken legs! getting smooshed by a car!). Surprisingly, the pros won.

I dropped the bike off at her house this morning. When I picked up my dearest boy at 4:15, he was riding like a pro. He was zooming up and down the street and he was sweaty as all get out and he was so. freaking. proud. He'd taken on his Schwinn-shaped demon and he'd won.

My kid is badass. Who knew?


  1. Congratulations to both mom and new easy rider!

  2. It's amazing to see our kids give their own fears wings so that they can watch them fly away! It gives me hope for myself . . .

  3. My 7 y.o finally learned to ride her two wheeler (in 5 minutes) after seeing the 4 y.o. next door just take off on her bike. Peer pressure can be a beautiful thing!