On Friday, Bethanie, our 9 year old, rode her bike for the first time without training wheels. This was no small feat as Bethanie is mildly autistic and is just not athletic, she'd much rather be drawing or playing in her room than be outside on most days. However, as Bethanie has proven many times, when she puts her mind to something there isn't anything she can't accomplish. So, her Daddy took the training wheels off and away she went!
When I arrived home from work yesterday, Zachary, our five year old, also wanted his training wheels off. I was exhausted from not sleeping well the night before and tried to explain to him that we would take them off this weekend when I could help him learn to ride. I told him, "Honey, you don't just take the training wheels off and then start riding, it takes practice. Lots of practice." He was not happy with that answer. Oh he fussed. And fussed. Then, proceeded to go outside and wiggle one of the training wheels off. He was so funny and determined that I got up, gathered the tools and resigned myself to a long evening of falls, running to keep up and helping him ride and wiping his tears when he fell.
Well. As children like to do, Zach proved me wrong. Once I took the other training wheel off, he got up on his bike and pedaled away. First try. No help from Mom. He fell a few times along the way when he would stop and try to get going again, but mostly, he was off to the races.
As I mentioned in my post about Molly's first time riding without training wheels, this is a huge step towards independence. I find it somewhat ironic Zach and Bethanie did this right before I turned 40. My babies are now all finished with training wheels. They are up and on their own. They celebrated milestones just as I celebrate one today, 40. My babies are needing me less and less and, as these things sometimes go, I find I need them more and more. I think I am clinging onto every minute, as they seem so fleeting. I soak in every hug, hold it a few seconds longer each time. They grow up so fast. These milestones are moments and these moments are milestones.