Last night Royce and I bought the girls their first bicycles. We were both so excited. Both of us have wonderful memories of being little and learning to ride, having training wheels taken off and the freedom that comes to a child when they're old enough to bike away, out of Mom and Dad's eyesight.
I remember learning to ride and turning to see my Dad's hand letting go of my seat the first time he took the training wheels off as he ran behind me. I did fall. He made that scrunched up face that says OUCH and it's the same face I'll make the first time one of my girls barrels down the driveway (which will inevitably happen) and crashes out at the bottom. I'll have to encourage her to hop back on and learn to trust herself and her bike again. The same things that were said to me when I was little.
When I was the girls age (maybe a year older) my bike was a classic Schwinn. It was blue with a blue and white seat that had an S printed on it. My parents bought it from a guy in the neighborhood who would salvage old bikes and make new ones. It didn't have a banana seat or fancy tassels but I loved it, it was a good learner even though I remember complaining that it was a boys bike. It was. I remember one afternoon my Dad telling me to hop in the car. My parents preferred to run errands without us so to have the chance to go out, especially without the other two kids, was never questioned. I hopped in and he wouldn't tell me where we were going. I don't remember which store it was but I do remember my Dad walking me right up to a pink banana seat Murry and asking me if I wanted it. Holy WOW this was my new bike! Later my Mom told me he cashed in his enormous pickle jar he filled to the top with change and paid for the bike. Last night when we loaded up the bikes in the back of the car I got a little teary because I felt so awesome and happy for the girls and because I felt the same feelings my Dad probably did when he watched my face glow at the sight of that sweet bike.
Whoa. We officially have kids now. Learning to ride bikes is a big kid thing. They're ready for it and SO excited about it. Now I just need to remember to teach them when Royce is at work. I seriously don't think he can handle it ;)