A few weeks ago, Mary got the tool box down and took her training wheels off her old bike. No help from me or Ben, of course. She tried for a few minutes and then moved on to something else. When Ben got home from work, he helped her for a while, and got the bike juice flowing. She realized how much fun it could be. She tried and tried and tried to ride her bike, but she finally put one training wheel back on and decided that learning to do that was good enough.
She eventually forgot about it, and ended up just riding her bigger bike, with both training wheels, since that time.
On Friday, we had one of her friends over to play. They went outside and he took the one training wheel off her smaller bike and took off. That was all it took. I could see it in her eyes. "If he can do it, I can do it." This my friends, is why Mary is going to make it in this world. She gets a vision and doesn't let go, even if it means a lot of bumps and bruises ahead.
After her friend left, Mary spent the next 2 hours on her bike going up and down the hill. She fell over and over again, but would not let me help her. It was really hard for me to watch, and I think the dog struggled too. He would run up and down the hill with her and lick her face when she fell. I don't think I would do much good waddling down the hill after her anyway, I would probably fall more than she did, but still.
Mary fell a lot, but she would just get up and keep going. It was amazing! By the end of the day, she could do 5 petal rotations before tipping over. I figured that would be good enough, and I praised her up and down for trying so hard. I thought she would be content, I was wrong.
The next morning, she was at it again! Up the hill, down the hill, up the hill, down the hill. Ben finally talked her into trying her bigger bike (the one that actually fits her) Mary and Ben took the training wheels off that bike. She let Ben help her for a little while and then declared that she would do it on her own.
AND SHE DID!
Mary is now an official no-training wheel-bike-rider! She absolutely loves it. She begs to ride her bike constantly now and she just grins and grins and grins. It was so fun for me to see so much joy coming from her. Oh, the freedom of learning to ride a bike! I am so proud of her. We all are.
She reminded me of a good lesson that I forget all too often. No matter how many times you fall, get back up and keep going. Eventually you will get there and the reward will be wonderful! Never give up.