Our oldest son, JJ, was a bit cautious when he first learned to ride a two-wheeler. He started to learn the summer of between second and third grade and had it down pat the middle of the next summer.
He was hesitant at first, took a few spills and called it quits after a month of off and on trials. JJ wasn’t too anxious to try again the following summer but with some persuasion, he attempted it again. And before long, he got the hang of riding and never looked back again.
Fast forward to Bruiser, nearing the end of pre-school (he was 5 1/2 years old), begged for his training wheels to come off. With slight hesitation, we complied. He got on the bike and was shaky for all of one minute—within a month he is doing stunts that should clearly not be done by a 5-year-old. I swear he is going to give me a heart attack! My mom won’t even allow him on his bike when she is over . . . she doesn’t have the nerves for it.
Fast forward to Princess, she is not as gutsy as her twin. Princess was quite content on her Barbie bike with her pink training wheels (it is so girly—it is nauseating).
She showed no interest in trying a two wheeler. She started to use her Razor most of the time and would take out her bike with training wheels every now and then. We finally took her training wheels off . . . but she wasn’t interested. However, a few days ago, she got up on her bike and told us she wanted to learn to ride a two-wheeler.
We ran with her twice around the treet . . . she was a bit unbalanced and after a solid 10 minutes she put the bike away. Two days later I was running out for a “date” with my husband to celebrate my (let’s just say 29th) birthday, my mom was babysitting, when Princess grabs her bike and says “Nana, watch----I can ride a two-wheeler!”
Before I had time to stop her, Princess took off on the bike; it was like she had been riding without training wheels for months.
Three kids . . . three different bike experiences. Similarly, no two adoptions are alike.
Every adoption is a learning experience.
Mental state to take the leap of faith to jump in is different for everyone.
Patience is necessary.
Not every parent stays balanced through the challenge.
In the beginning, we have lots of “training wheels” helping us keep on a straight path.
We have limited time to hold on, teach our children how to keep balance in their lives (or on their bikes) but you eventually have to let go.
Over the past 5 1/2 years, we appreciated our “training wheels,” and we continue to practice letting go as our children grow older. JJ—we love how you take time until you feel totally confident that you will succeed. Bruiser—we love your chutzpah and sense of adventure and just get it done attitude. Princess—we love your style of waiting until you are good and ready to even try.