Monday, March 30, 2009

Inspiration on (training) wheels

I feared the worst. It would probably take my cautious daughter until the end of summer, if not longer. And then over spring break, she went from trepidation on training wheels to riding a mile to school – on two wheels!

Abby is on the quiet side of quiet, sometimes quick to learn things, but on her own time table. She excels at caution, which is good when I need to trust her around the house. It’s not so good when she expects to fall and get hurt, so wants every inch of her body padded!

This past week, her training wheels made quick work of getting bent to the point that they were worthless. She started to get the hang of balancing with them off the ground. Then one day she insisted, OK, Dad, yessssss, let’s take them off. In a sassy, grumpy sort of way. She took off around our cul-de-sac, on two wheels, without a parent or a problem. I was shocked.

Two days later (yesterday), she begged to go ride again. This from the girl who had to be coaxed to ride her bike just one month ago.

She figured out how to start on her own. How to stop on her own. How to suddenly weave around up and down driveways, which I’ve been unsuccessfully encouraging her to do for a year. How to ride faster than a snail.

She went flying through a mud puddle on accident, and laughed. She did it over and over, laughing out loud every time (is this my cautious daughter who doesn’t like dirt or bumps that much?) I smiled in pride and disbelief as she rode more quickly and confidently than I ever imagined. Oh, and the elbow and knee pads? Never once did she use them this week.

She’s ridden her bike to school twice this year, and walked about 100 times. Today, she wanted to try the whole mile on two wheels. And she did it.

She took some baby steps a few days ago, and then discovered a whole new realm of independence and confidence.

Sometimes I see the inevitable coming, and I fear that I’ll never make it – a new semester’s schedule, moving my family, job transitions, economic unknowns. But maybe fearing how hard it’s going to be is foolish. I’ve been reading in the news how recessions give rise to huge increase in entrepreneurs who try something new out of necessity. They discover it’s better than they thought, often sticking with their small businesses even when the economy picks up again.

A little worry is okay. But my worst fears rarely come true. In fact, a lot of good often comes of those things I'm afraid of. Watching Abby step out and grow up in a matter of days this week has given me a lot of hope to look forward with less worry. I see that being stretched might take me places I never dreamed possible - maybe even quicker than expected, and laughing along the way!


Jenn said...

More than once i have tried coaxing judah to do something i know that he will like, only to have him give up and promise to never do it again. Then when I least expect it, when i am not looking, paying attention, he decides to do it on his own! it makes me so proud but also befuddled!........didnt i try to get you to do that last week???!!!!

lol!! oh well, all we can do is try and then i guess its up to them as to the time table! :)

Don said...

Yeah for Abby! (Tell her Grand-pa said, so.)

The post reminds me of our conversation some months back when you and John were wondering about sports, interests, and the like for the girl.

Time. It changes things.

And people change, and we say, "Who are you and what happened to that other person?" And we smile.

Good job Abby. (Grand-pa's proud of you too!)

Piper II said...

Wow that's awesome! Congrats! I didn't learn to ride a bike until I was 8! Nothing wrong with learning at your own pace. :-P