• nwyatt

Bikes and My Babies


How old were you when you took your first step? Or tied your own shoes? Can you remember the first day of kindergarten, middle school, or even high school? For parents these are what we like to call “milestones”, momentous occasions, or the hash tag priceless events. These milestones are usually documented events where “good” parents keep track of their child’s development. Or conversations starters to brag on what new thing your kids have accomplished. If you know me, you know I love to capture everything. I take pictures at every sporting game, every birthday party, school event, summertime, family vacations, and so on, since my kids were born. However, if you look in every photo album I have ever created, there is one specific “milestone picture” that is missing. Bikes, yes, bikes. My kids seven and eleven have never learned to ride bikes, until last week.

Over the years, these boys have had every riding toys, scooter, skates, etc. Do you know where all these toys are now. You guessed in the garage waiting for the summer. Every summer it’s the same thing; we practice, they fall, they cry, we take a break and then it is the next summer. Yes, taking the break is from when they cry until the next summer, don’t judge me. I love my boys and if they have a boo boo I cuddle and snuggle them rather than making them get back up and try, well not all the time. I hear those of you who know me and my husband and you know that we are super structured and push our boys to always get back up and try. I guess with this I didn’t think of it as a skill they needed until we went to another amazing school event with “little Johnny (reference from a previous post LOL).”

The Bike Rodeo, yeee haaa! Essentially, it is a bicycle obstacle course. Students get fitted for helmets, bike mechanics fix bikes, they get a snack, they literally ride bikes through obstacle courses, and the best part of it all they raffled off 20 bikes. It was an absolutely amazing event, for kids who know how to ride their bikes. When I looked around and seen all the kids riding their bikes, I felt my heart drop. Oh no I thought, where is my baby.” When I noticed my youngest on a bike looking around at how to get started, I knew I had failed him. I thought, “dang it Natasha you really suck.” So I walk over and t begin talking to one of my mom friends, who had been watching my youngest while I was in a meeting and she said to me while cracking up, “have you been buying these boys riding toys.” I didn’t lie even though I wanted to and said, “of course.”

I then heard one of the volunteers, ask my oldest son, “would you like to get fitted for a helmet.” He politely said, “no that’s okay.” However, in his eyes there was a mix of fear and frustration. My heart went from my stomach to my feet and I felt worse. He then put on his headphones and waited for my husband to come pick him up. Moms, you know when you kid would really like to participate but, just doesn’t know where to begin? You want to help them in that moment but just don’t have the skills to support them. It is the worse feeling in the world. Both of my boys were experiencing the same uncomfortability at the same time, even though they are at different stages in their lives.

At the end of the event my youngest son won a bike. Thanks to this event, I now left with the guilt and the commitment to do better and teach him how to ride a bike. As you have learned, my little guy says what’s on his heart, which is one of the greatest parts of being young. With so much excitement he told me that we were going to practice every day. I agreed and told him 20 minutes a day, shoot I am tired when I get home.

So obviously we practiced, and he learned how to ride a bike. He calls himself speedy. But, this week’s story is not about him, it is about my oldest. When he left that bike rodeo, I could not stop thinking about the trauma I have caused related to them learning how to ride bikes, okay I am being a little extra again. Maybe not trauma but some anxiety. I thought about all the different things Hezekiah has tried, been frustrated, but has overcome. Little did I know, there would be a fire lit. For my kids, there is only one thing that can motivate them unlike anything else, and that is each other. If Solomon can do something, Hezekiah has no excuse but to do it too. If Hezekiah can do something he expects Solomon to accomplish the task as well. Hezekiah wants nothing more than to make his younger brother proud, it is an amazing relationship that they have created.

So one day afterschool, Solomon learned to ride and then Hezekiah asked if he could try. I mean it was automatic, he got on the bike, I held him up like I did his younger brother, yelled at him to stop making me do all the work a couple times…. okay several times. He looked at me with determination, agreed that he wasn’t peddling and then, he got the hang of it. It took him one hour and he was riding. I mean all this time that has gone on, I can’t believe it, he was finally riding. The intrinsic motivation within our children drives them more than we do sometimes, and this was one of those times. I wish I could bottle that up for everything else in his life. I was so proud of these two for learning before the summer. However, now we have to go buy bikes. Well, that’s a story for another day.

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