Suddenly, last Friday night, she decided she was ready and determined to ride her bike to Braum's for ice cream. It was our first time to get the bikes out this spring so we had to air up lots of tires and use some WD40 to get chains and tires moving freely. I was exhausted before all the bikes were ready.
Let me give you a little bit of the back story. Mitch spent his first four summers after high school graduation riding his bike all over the US. He's a bike riding fool. Hannah and Eli inherited his love for biking and could both ride on two wheels by the time they were 5. I think we worked with Hannah a total of 2 hours before she could ride and Eli taught himself. Easy peasy.
Abi is my girl. We need four full tires to give us balance. We're not so excited about balacing our big hinies on a tiny little seat and two skinny tires. I'm a little like a winnebago balanced on an ice skate when I try to ride a bike :)
Abi's biggest problem with learning to ride her bike is fear. She has been absolutely panic stricken at the thought of balancing and pedaling by herself. I cannot begin to tell you how many tears she cried Friday night. Buckets of tears. But she was determined to get ice cream. The only thing bigger than her fear is her love for ice cream.
She finally made it as far as Slate Creek Elementary (Mitch and I were hanging on to her the entire way). We were exhausted and ditched the bike at the school and walked the rest of the way for ice cream. Abi jumped on the bike on the way back home and kinda, sorta rode it home.
She was totally bummed Saturday with the rain because she didn't get to ride. Sunday afternoon was spent practicing some more. I was shocked at how much she improved between Friday night and Sunday afternoon. She was still scared to death.
She kept saying, "promise me you won't let go! promise, daddy!"
It didn't matter how many times Abi begged Mitch not to let go of her, he always reassured her that he was right there with her. Sound familiar? I was reminded of God's words to both Moses at the end of his life in Deuteronomy 31:6 ("'Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you, he will never leave you nor forsake you.'") and then to Joshua after Moses died in Joshua 1:5 ("'As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.'"). No matter how ridiculous our fears may seem to God, He is always quick to assure us that He will never leave us. How many times have I needed that kind of assurance? Many!
Finally, Abi took off on two wheels!
She still needs a lot of practice and assurance but she's so close to independence and mobility! It's been a long time coming and my back hurts. But I'm so very proud of her.
Daddy had to provide a little bit of comic relief when things got a little tense. All of this at the corner of Broadway and Magnolia. in the neighborhood park for all to see.
He's just a big kid and I love him for it. Thank goodness he's also strong and patient.