Tuesday, June 8, 2010

2 wheels down

And no, I am not referring to the not one but TWO tires on my car that recently had a hole in them. No, I am referring to a different vehicle.

Last week, after supper, my sweet baby girl child made a big decision. She wanted to go outside and play. (no, that was not the big decision. Sheesh, be patient.) So I was cleaning up the kitchen while David and the kiddos were out front. (Yes, David was actually in town!) So they were all out there playing. Jessa came running inside, and she was all excited. She wanted me to come outside to see what Daddy was doing. I headed out there to find David with some tools working on Jessa's beautiful Barbie bike. Want to know what he was doing?

Well, do ya?







I mean, she is just a baby. She was just born. How in heaven's name can this precious baby be big enough to ride her bike WITHOUT training wheels??

She wanted to try this a while back, but David was not here. I am one heck of an Army wife, and I can and do handle most anything that comes my way (I mean, I just got 2 new tires put on my car ALL BY MYSELF, thankyouverymuch). BUT seeing as how I am balance challenged, and I have trouble simply standing still without falling down. And that is much less difficult than riding a human powered vehicle, so I did not think that I would be able to handle this. I have many scars to prove I can barely ride a bike myself, much less try to teach someone else. And even though I know that Bay would have been more than happy to work with her, I think it was so perfect that her Daddy got to teach her, don't you??
And folks, this was not a long process. So about 3 seconds after she made the decision, she was a riding fool. She was SO ready for this. She has gotten all the balance down from riding her scooter, so once David held her briefly - she was off! I was standing there in awe. David actually had to tell me to go and get the camera; that should tell you how out of it I was - me not thinking of the camera? Me??

I stood there on the sidewalk watching her with tears rolling down my cheeks. I know it is a pretty big deal when any kid learns to ride their bike. Want to know how I know that? Well, I will tell you. This "riding a bike" thing is a skill that never goes away. I mean, how many other things that you learn as a child become a cliche' that means "always remembering how to do something that you learned a very long time ago." Uh, yeah, that's what I thought. No one ever says, "It's just like stacking blocks." Or "It's just like tossing a Frisbee." Or "It's just like playing Barbies." But if I had a nickel for every time someone has said "It's just like riding a bike," well, I'd have a heck of a lot of nickels, that's for sure. This is big, people.

But my Jessa is such a perfectionist. She is so driven and competitive. And she has confidence to spare. When she decides to do something, she does it. Period. Now that is not to say she never stumbles or backtracks at all. But this super competitive child of mine does not handle the little stumbles as well as we would like. She gets MAD when she cannot master something perfectly the first time. (I have decided that she gets the competitiveness from David who can make anything into a contest and the perfectionism from the Parrish side of the family. Thankfully she got everyone else's balance and grace and coordination - NOT mine!)

I am still holding my breath every time she takes the old bike out for a spin. And we have had a few skinned knees when her confidence overshadows her actual ability level. But so far, she gets a band-aid and hops back on. And I told her that they are her "red badges of courage!" (The English Major in me loves hearing my 6 year allude to Stephen Crane.)

Well, without further ado. . .
here she is IN ACTION!

My favorite part, besides Jessa rocking the 2-wheeler, had to be SPENCER's reaction. God Bless Him, he was just as excited and proud as she was!
Check him out running over to congratulate her:

And just like that, my sweet baby girl has been replaced by a two-wheeler riding, Stephen Crane quoting, FIRST GRADER!
Where does the time go?

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