Teaching Miss Jessie to ride a bike was no easy feat (see this post from April, 2009). We never really accomplished it -she just hated it. Whereas my Sammy has loved his bike forever. But, (crappy parent confession coming) – we never really pushed bike riding. There were a couple of contributing factors. They are Jessica and Julie, and Marc working a zillion hours last summer. And the hill. Always – the hill.
We did pretty well at getting him started, and then just sort of… stopped. But this spring, I’m focused. I’m driven. The child will ride. If there was ever a child who should be on wheels, it’s my Sam.
Last weekend, I dug the bike out of the back storage closet, and got Julie her little bike with the attached training wheels. Then I found Jessie a scooter, so that she’d be able to come with us, and love it, and not feel as though she had to be on a bike. I had to take it to get the tires filled, and then I tried, half heartedly, to teach him to ride in the driveway next door (because we live a horrible hill, and our drive way is also a hill, I’m reduced to borrowing the neighbor’s driveway).
We didn’t get too far, it was bumpy and hard for Julie to navigate her bike. So she kept crying for me, and I couldn’t focus on the Boy. But today, after Easter (which was also lovely), I went to the Technical High School. Marc had to work today, so it was just me and the kids. I started off at Green Hill Park, but it was posted that you aren’t supposed to bike there. And the High School was right there, with a lovely big FLAT parking lot.
AND HE DID IT. It took about a half hour, and my feet hurt now because I was doing it in dress flats. Turns out you really have to RUN when you’re teaching a kid to ride a bike (which I didn’t know, because Jessie never went fast enough for me to have to run along with her). He still needs a little help getting started and he tends to keep going until he crashes which isn’t a good long-term strategy – but he can ride, by himself, for a long time. Major thanks to Jessica who stepped up, again and again, to keep Julianna happy and occupied, and it helped that she could ride her own bike while Jessie was bopping along on the scooter.
I cried, just a little, the first time he really took off by himself. He was so proud – and he kept trying, over and over again, and didn’t give up until he got it.
He’s awesome – and I’m ridiculously happy for him.