Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Learning to Fly (It's Like Riding a Bike)...

I'm kind of ashamed to admit this, but we are finally teaching our oldest how to ride a bike (she's 8). I don't know how we let this happen, to be honest. I knew how to ride a bike probably by the time I was 5. She is bound and determined to learn by the end of this week.

Now, that said, teaching your kid how to ride a bike is one of the hardest things to do as a parent. We view the process of riding a bike as simple. You just hop on, put your foot on the highest peddle, push off, and away you go. But, for a kid who has not mastered this simple process yet, the learning curve is pretty dramatic. They wobble all over the place, the bike veers off the sidewalk and nearly dents every car parked along the street. They get extremely frustrated when they can't do it just like that. You have to remain patient, even though you're kind of shocked at how hard it is to teach what seems like such a simple skill.

As I ran up and down the sidewalk last night alongside my daughter, holding first the entire bike, then the handle bars, then the back of the seat, and finally the back of her shirt, I felt an awful sense of letting go. Each time she got a little more sure of herself, I had to back off and hold onto a little bit less of her. I had to let her fly. Teaching her to ride her bike started to sink into my sense of being as an awful metaphor for letting her grow up, find her wings. She had to test them first, knowing that I would be there to catch her when she fell. Soon enough, however, she didn't want me holding on anymore. She wanted me to let go.

My mom always says that to be a good parent, you have to eventually let your kids grow away from you. You teach them how to walk, but they have to learn how to run for themselves. How true this is. And how elated and sad it makes me at the very same time.

On an entirely different note, I've just decided to tag along with Kate @ Another Clean Slate and friends in their #piclove365 challenge.

Go over, link up your instagram account (mine is http://instagram.com/aliceineastwash), and join in the fun. Here's my pic for #day1:

I love when nature sends us little hearts. 
Until tomorrow. If you haven't yet, make sure to link up @ The Wonderland Hop today. I love learning from my bloggy friends:)! Alice (aka jess)

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A Peek Into My Paradise
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