Friday, September 24, 2010

Learning to ride a bike

When Little Man taught himself to ride a bike with no training wheels yesterday, I was standing chatting with a neighbor and watching him out of the corner of my eye. He was having a hard time at first, struggling over and over to get the bike going before he started to fall sideways and catching himself just in time. I started out helping him, but, honestly? Bending over that far and keeping the bike straight up while running next to him? I wasn't so good at it. The bike wobbled -- it wobbled a lot. And having me in control (in name, anyway) of the bike seemed to make L.M. nervous. Finally he wanted to try it by himself, so I let him.

I had mentioned earlier that everyone falls once or twice while they are learning to ride a bike, and he was appalled. "I don't want to fall! I'm not going to fall," he declared, and I thought, "Oh, sure you will. Why is falling so terrible?" but I let it go. Weirdly, though, he didn't.

Within what seemed like a short amount of time -- an hour or two? -- he was making it 3 feet -- 5 feet -- 10 feet before starting to lose balance. And then he was zipping up and down the street, only losing it sometimes while turning, but otherwise fine. Still chatting with my neighbor, I watched and applauded him, "You're doing great, honey!" My attention was only partly distracted, because I really was beaming with pride at his determination and success.

Even so, I almost missed it. He said it quietly, to himself really, and I was in the middle of a story and only watching him peripherally, but I did catch it with some part of my mind. Because I didn't respond at the time, but later I woke up and remembered that moment and had that experience I've never been able to put properly into words. I didn't get tears in my eyes, but I was -- halted somehow -- in everything: breathing, thinking, feeling. Lost in wonder. Grateful. What he had said so quietly to himself was,

"I have dreamed of this."

What I saw, yesterday, with my very own eyes, was my son experiencing, literally, a dream come true.

8 comments:

i am the diva said...

ohmygosh! How lucky you are to have witnessed that moment!

yogurt said...

I have dreamed of this. May your son, and you, have tons more of these dream moments.

KathHubRag said...

Beautiful - I love that boy ! He is a writer in the making... And I'm really glad you're blogging again.
Kath

Neil said...

That certainly brings back the memories of the freedom you feel riding a bicycle, which is way more thrilling than when you start driving a car.

daydreamymama said...

Neil: I agree! Much more fun to ride a bike, even now. I caught a contact high from my kid when he figured it out.

6512 and growing said...

I just read your last three posts and I think your son is an absolute poet.

Bejewell said...

What a beautiful moment!!

Heather said...

I agree. Nick is just over two months now, but the smiling thing is amazing. And he smiles when I'm about to feed him! When I wipe his mouth. Those little things, the inside jokes, make it precious.