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Learning to ride a bike

Monday, July 11, 2011 Leave a Comment

My 5 year old learned to ride a bike yesterday.

We asked if he'd like to take off the training wheels, and he said yes. My husband helped him get started, and he took off.

Just like that.

I was still getting my shoes on when I heard my husband holler for the camera.

I wish I could have captured his face in that moment. He rode past me and exclaimed, "This is the best day of my life!"

Quite a different experience from the tears and frustration when we tried six months ago. 

Five might be an average age to learn to ride a bike, but in our neighborhood, it felt late. All his friends had left training wheels behind long ago. Just like swimming (and potty training, and giving up the bottle), I was getting worried. All of our encouragement, cajoling, instructing, bribing and persuading weren't working. But when he decided it was time, he did it - and did it well.

There's a reason learning to ride a bike is a rite of passage: it represents independence and freedom. My boy wants to ride his bike everywhere, from the moment he wakes up until I make him come in for bed. When I picked him up from sports camp and started loading his bike in the back, he said, "I'll ride home. You follow me in the car."

So it makes me wonder: do kids develop at their own sweet pace, regardless of what we parents do? Have your kids been early, average or late on the milestones of childhood? Do you stress about your kid if he's a late bloomer, or does it all work out in the end?

1 comments »

  • Liz said:  

    LOL My aunt just reminded me that 5 is NOT old to ride a bike. My brother rode around with one training wheel until he was 9. That's what happens when you live in a neighborhood of overachievers!