Friday, October 12, 2007

everyone's on two wheels

When McKay was in preschool in Albuquerque his class had a trike-a-thon to raise money for St Judes. He was 4 and a half. He had heard about 4 days prior to it that one of the kids in his class had learned to ride his bike without training wheels. He was green with envy. He begged us to take his training wheels off so he could learn to ride before the trike-a-thon. So we took them off. But we gently told him that sometimes it takes awhile to learn how to ride a bike.

We were at the park every afternoon for four days straight. Me hunched over holding onto his seat running along side of him and him trying very very hard to ride that bike, but not really getting the hang of it.

We ended up putting the training wheels back on for the fundraiser. Diego rode his bike without training wheels, and you could tell that McKay was bummed, but he handled it. And they raised money for St. Judes which was the point of the whole thing anyway.

He didn't give up trying after that. I can remember days when he would be begging me to take him to ride and I would groan silently to myself because as much as I wanted him to learn and I was proud of him for sticking with it, running alongside of him always left me with a backache and he would be frustrated and it didn't feel like it was ever going to happen. Plus Gentry was still little and always got bored.

But, a month or two later something seemed to click and he was riding his bike alone and the days of backaches and frustration were behind us. But I kept thinking we'd be going through the whole thing eventually with Gentry. I was just thankful that it was a few years away.

This all seems like it happened yesterday. Gentry was 2 at that time, he's four and a half now. Man, time flies. I really think that McKay started trying to ride his bike too soon and if we had waited awhile maybe it wouldn't have been so hard for him. But, who knows.

But someone had told me back then that if they could ride a two wheel scooter they should be able to ride a two wheel bike (same balance issues etc.) and vice versa. So the Christmas after he learned to ride his bike, we got him a razor scooter. He had no problem with it. By the time Gentry was 3 and a half, he could ride the Razor also.

But I was in no hurry to go through the bike thing again. And Gentry had NO interest in taking his training wheels off. At all. He said he wanted them on forever. I was ok with it. I figured we'd just have to special order training wheels to fit an adult bike but, hey that's fine. :)

Then last week we were getting ready to go to the park and I was sticking his bike in the back of the car when for some random reason I said "wanna try riding without your training wheels today?". And for some random reason he said "ok".

So I grabbed a wrench and off we went. When we got up to the park, I pulled the bike out of the back and took the training wheels off. I asked him to hold his bike for a minute while I put the wheels and the wrench back into the car.

A minute later, I close the hatch and look over to the sidewalk where he was standing and he's gone. Gone.

HE WAS RIDING HIS BIKE. Without training wheels. Without help. Just riding, like he'd been doing it all of his life. No backache, no endless hours of running next to him. None of it. He was just riding the bike.

He's so proud of himself. He tells everyone he sees, everywhere we go, that nobody in our house uses training wheels anymore. So cute.

And I can't help feeling like this may be the way things work in life for them. McKay has to try very hard for things, and usually they come easily for Gentry. Once McKay sets his mind on something he doesn't give up very easily. And Gentry just gets things a little quicker. But he doesn't seem to care as much. They're basically polar opposites (in so many ways). It's very interesting to me.

Now it's time to get ready for the award ceremony.

It's Friday again. Yay.

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