It had been seven months since I took the training wheels off the bikes, and for seven months the kids shunned them. Didn’t go near them, wouldn’t join me at the park to ride quick streaks down the grassy hill or slow circles around the basketball courts, wouldn’t even let me mention them. So I gave in. The training wheels went back on. They weren’t ready.
But of course, they were, and they are. And today, I haggled them into letting me take the trainers off – not for good, but for three runs down the hill. Just three, and then they’d go back on. I had suggested four. Mia wanted two. We compromised. No tears.
They stayed off for eight runs. Eight runs each kid, and I swear, Mia was riding on her own, pedaling her way across the soccer field before spinning to a stop in front of the goal. Max, meanwhile, flipped over the handlebars halfway down his second run, scuffed up his belly, and burst into tears. And went for another six runs.
Man of my word, I put the extra wheels back on when they were done, and they agreed to do it all again tomorrow, three runs at a shot. Then we rode back to the basketball court, where we practiced our set shots and they did slow, confident circles from stanchion to stanchion.
Back home, Sarah was busy dreaming up these masterpieces, which she made and decorated for and with the kids. We made calzones too.
It gave us something to do before the cake.