Sunday, October 17, 2010

Two wheel'n

Some days I have a hard time coming up with something to write about. Not today. This one is easy. Today Alexandra ditched the training wheels. Sure this is one of those inevitable moments as a parent, but trust me the lead in is anything but.

Let's back up a little. Parenting has taught me more patience and wisdom than anything else in life. Prior to parenthood I envisioned the job as being the constant teacher, the wise old sage teaching the kids. You know, Yoda. And while that's true to a degree, trust me when I say it is you, the parent, who do much of the learning. For me it's been a very difficult albeit rewarding adventure to discover how my kids learn. For Alexandra it's been about learning how to help her manage her anxiety (and my anxiety!). Early on I would try too hard to help her work through things. The net is that I probably pushed a little too much and at times she regressed. Her "relationship" with water comes to mind. As time has passed I've learned to not push so much but rather let her wait until she was ready. I guess I feared that she'd move away from something and then never come back to it. She'd get scared in the water, or on the bike, and that was that. She'd never be a swimmer or ride a bike. Hey I'm not nuts, I have seen it happen...to other kids. But I've learned she's way more resilient than that. In fact it's now downright fascinating to me. She moves away from things physically, but I have this strange feeling that she does not move completely away from things mentally. Whether she consciously thinks about things that have given her trouble and why they gave her trouble, I don't know. But first with swimming and then today with her bike, she fairly abruptly came back to them and decided that she was ready. And when she says she's ready...She is Ready. I think I held her saddle for all of 10 seconds today. 7 miles later she was declaring how when she was on her bike she never got tired. I'm sure the catalyst was her friend Lauren becoming a two wheeler herself, but as you know that peer pressure thing can work the opposite way. But not with this little girl.

Now I trust her judgement with these sorts of things more than mine. If she's not ready, I don't push at all. She has demonstrated with two big milestones this year, when she's ready she goes and never stops.

Of course, Dylan wants to keep up with his sister, and he is wired differently. I mean, he's a boy. Dylan will fall on his bum, or head, over and over until he gets it. That's just what he does. But keeping up with big sis does motivate him, and today that got him back on his bike and riding with us. When last we saw Dylan and his new Lightning McQueen bike, he was abandoning it on the Cape Cod Canal bike path and daddy was swearing. Well today he rode until he was dropping. Dylan is talented in his own right. Unfortunately he's 2 1/2 years younger than his sister and at this point in life that's a huge gap. But he tries, gets frustrated, screams, has a fit, gets mad, and then tries again. It's just a matter of time. Yeah, time and a bunch of bandages and ice packs!

What a great weekend.