There are a few moments in my children’s development to date that have brought tears to my eyes: sleeping crawling, walking, starting school, being headbutted by Tilly (bless her). And there have been many proud moments, too many to list here, but they will all be documented in this here blog (as that’s the point of it really). Today was another milestone. I realised very clearly that my eldest daughter is growing up. Because today I took the stabilisers off. Given that I was practically brought up on a bicycle (my Dad is a very keen cyclist and still gives the lycra clad youngsters a run for their money up Box Hill) this was a very important thing for me.
We had a chat about it:
“Today is the day Eliza.”
“What day Mummy?”
“The day the stabilisers come off.” I saw the hint of a smile on her lips.
“Really?” she was pretty excited.
“Yep. Today you will become…” drumroll…”a Two Wheeler”
“Yes Mummy. I’m ready to be a two wheeler, lots of people my age can do it, so I can too”
I like her rational thinking.
So I duly found a spanner and removed the stabilisers, in so doing I ended up releasing the tension on the chain but couldn’t for the life of me figure out what had happened, so we went to the local cycling cafe (as you do in this part of the world) and the nice man sorted it. We had ice creams, rude not to really.
Back to the cycling.
I took both girls to the park where it’s a bit flatter and a bit bigger and declared that this was the time we had been waiting for. After today everything would change. It was big.
I pushed her off and she went. Cycling on her own as if she’d been doing it all her life. Remarkable. She was hit with a few balancing challenges, but she was pragmatic.
“You see Mummy I’ve never been a two wheeler before so it’s a bit tricky, but I’ll learn.” Yes you will, with that attitude you absolutely will.
After trying to set off and failing a few times she had an understandable frustration fuelled mini meltdown. I know that feeling. We had a bit of a pep talk.
“You know I couldn’t really swim properly but I did the triathlon, because I practised and I was determined to do it. You can do anything that anyone else can do Eliza, but you don’t have to keep doing it today if it’s getting too frustrating.”
“I can’t fly though Mummy.”
“True, but neither can anyone else.”
“Oh yes, only if they are in an aeroplane.”
“That’s right. But you can do anything you want to do if you try. I know this is true Eliza because I have done things I never thought I’d be able to do.”
“Ok Mummy. I’m going to give it another go.”
Cue dramatic music. She was off. My eyes filled with tears. Tilly looked at her in what I like to think was awe and respect but could well have been confusion about why we were all so excited.
I’m one very proud Mummy tonight.