For my entire life, one odd fact about me - my one card to play during quirky get-to-know-you games - was this: I cannot ride a bicycle. Twenty-eight years old and I would still have been lost if I ever ended up on the Amazing Race because they almost always end up having to rely on a bicycle for one challenge or another (well, I can't drive stick, either, so I'm still not good to go on that front).
Well, my friends, I can say that no longer.
While Philip had taken me to the end of the cul-de-sac a few times many years ago in an attempt to teach me this valuable skill, I had done little more than cruise about fifteen feet in either direction - being that our street is actually a gentle slope, I would not venture outside of that safe, flat circle at the end of the road.
This evening, however, we packed up Micaiah's helmet, pads, and shiny new bike, the little tricycle that was hers until she had something snazzier to ride (Emmett doesn't care that it's pink and purple, so long as he has a ride), and Daddy's bike, too, and drove the 1.5 miles to our church parking lot.
Micaiah gave up after about ten minutes, because she realized she doesn't know how. As I spoke to her of the importance in trying because no one knows how to do something until they keep trying, I used myself as an example - Mommy doesn't know how to ride a bike because Mommy didn't try. I didn't bother mentioning that Mommy's "trying" consisted of piddling around on the street in front of my house, pausing mid-straddle as someone passed, so as to give the illusion I had just been pedaling my little heart out and needed a break.
Then my daughter insisted she couldn't ride a bike until she had a big bike like Daddy's.
I pointed out Mommy doesn't have a big bike because Mommy doesn't know how to ride one. And she can't get a big bike if she doesn't learn to ride her little one. Because it breaks my heart, this tendency of hers to quit when things get too hard. I've been there. I'm still there. And I can't let her be that girl, too.
So, she got back on.
And so did I. And after a few failed attempts, my shoes finally gripped the pedals mid-balance and off I was going, riding a bike. Making circles, even, which means I was brave enough to turn the handlebars (trust me, that's big). No training wheels, no safety net, no strong arms nearby to catch my fall. Just me and the bike. And a wide open parking lot.
I like to imagine maybe I inspired that little girl today.
I doubt it.
But I like to imagine it anyhow.
898. Adding another tool to the belt
899. Hoping for a bike for my next birthday
900. Seeing her, all geared up, hopping on that bike
901. Watching her read her story
902. Being friends with my kids
903. Finding potty-training motivators (bananas and M&M's beat marshmallows any day)
904. Helping that littlest to breathe
905. Access to quality healthcare
(I feel the need to mention that I was wearing a white/tan belt in the video above, which may resemble the precise color of my skin, but was, in fact, covering my backside - so, no, you're no looking at crack, you're looking at a belt in a belt loop - promise)