Well, it happened today at about 7:15 EST. Our baby daughter, who is almost 6 years old, rode her bike without training wheels for the first time. Yippee! My two daughters came inside and announced this evening that the 6-year-old was ready for the big moment. My wife and I retreated to the front sidewalk of our addition to cheer her on. I took off her training wheels and guided her about 10 to 20 feet before it was clear she did not need me anymore – boy, I don’t like the sound of that. I’m already starting to have visions of her walking down the aisle at her wedding, then fast forward to her walking me down the hall at the nursing home in my wheelchair.
Don’t get me wrong, it is incredible to see her develop and reach more and more milestones. It’s just that sometimes it makes you feel older a little sooner than expected. Still, I would much rather watch my daughter grow up in front of my eyes than watch a movie, television, or sports. This is real life and it is exciting. You can’t buy these kinds of experiences, and you don’t want to let them slip by right under your nose.
What was even more special tonight was our 8-year-old daughter helping the 6-year-old get ready to ride without training wheels. She seemed even more excited that her younger sister. As parents you always need to look for opportunities to reinforce positive behavior. So we told both of the girls how very proud we were of them. This is even more amazing when I think about it because the girls hardly ever go 1 hour without arguing with each other.
This day has given us another blessing. Whenever the girls start to argue with each other, we can stop them and say, “Remember when you two worked together so well that you helped your sister to ride her bike without training wheels?” What a great object lesson. I just love it when a plan comes together.