Steady as he goes
Noah has never been much of a daredevil. In fact, I would say that he would pause a bit at the word daredevil and ask for the definition if it were ever used in his presence. What does “daredevil” mean? He would want to know. Is it like the real devil? Does it live in our neighborhood? Could it get in to our house? Is it bigger than a bear? Are you sure there aren’t bears in our house?
And so on and so forth he would continue until I was able to insert a HEY IS THAT A CORVETTE DRIVING BY OUR HOUSE as a distraction.
I wouldn’t call him over the top anxious about life per se, but I would say that he is definitely a kid with a healthy dose of normal kid fears. Dogs, water, death, public performing, talking to adults he doesn’t know, etc. It can be frustrating for me at times, knowing how to help him through his fear without forcing him to do something he’s really not comfortable doing.
So yesterday when I broached the topic of removing the training wheels from his bike, I was super casual about it, like “Hey! How’s about we go to the park and PLAY! and KICK THE SOCCER BALL! and tryridingthebikewithouttrainingwheelsandalso THROW A FRISBEE?” sort of expecting a concerned look, or a determined nuh-uh, or something similar. But he just said “Okay.”
(went my head)
So, continuing on the uber-cool pretense of This is So Totally No Big Deal, I said, “Alright. Let’s go then,” and proceeded to watch him bebop to the park, declare that it was Time, and then start plugging away at his first attempts at two-wheeled uprightedness. He was focused, but not scared. He fell once or twice, but he didn’t give up. And then after only about fifteen minutes, HE GOT IT. I think I truly understand now the meaning of the word verklempt. Because there he was in his jeans with the worn out knees and his brow furrowed in heavy concentration riding a bike. And he was having fun doing it. Well, hello cliched Parenting Moment! Make yourself comfortable in my throat as I wipe off this water that seems to be collecting in my eye.
It’s just that he was so great, you know? So, so great.
As he got steadier I kept filming his progress. At one point L got my attention from behind and gestured to Rosie, who was atop a big slide all by herself. I panned over to her to catch her first big slide solo descent on video, and in my peripheral vision I could see Noah whiz by, already a pro and gaining speed.
“They’re doing things too fast for me to keep up with!” I commented to L as I gave up and turned off the camera.
He nodded, smiling, because he knew exactly what I meant.