The Ride of Passage

This week is a big week in our household. Our youngest daughter, who turned 8 in early September, has finally agreed to let us take the training wheels off of her bicycle. So yesterday was the day! I waited anxiously for her to come home from school to see if she had changed her mind, but she hadn’t. She was all ready to try to ride without the training wheels, so with no further delay, I pulled out the tools and off they came.

I decided to take her to the basketball courts across the street, as that is where my older daughter learned to ride her bike. It is a nice open, flat area and obviously, no traffic! First, I started out by holding the handlebars and the back of her seat, but within minutes, she asked for me to let go of the handlebars. A few minutes later, she said, “I think I’m ready for you to let go now!” with a big smile on her face.

Those words made me stop dead in my tracks, “Let go now? I have to let go now?” I thought to myself, “But I’m not ready yet!” Right there and then, I realized for her, she was simply asking for me to let go of the bike seat, but for me, it meant so much more than that. It meant that now, my little girl was moving to the next stage of life. Now, she can hop on her bike and go to the park, to her friends, pretty much anywhere she wants to go! Ok, maybe not “anywhere” but you get my point. For me, it wasn’t about letting go of the bike seat, but it is another step in having to let go of my little girl.

As she tried one more time, she kept yelling, “Ok, you can let go now! Let go Meem…” but I just couldn’t. I held on to that seat…I held on to her….

Ironically, in that very moment, the chain on her bicycle broke and I wasn’t able to fix it, so it is now in the repair shop down the street. I promised her I would pick it up later today and we could try again, but I don’t know if I’m ready; not just yet. I know she is, but I’m not ready for this next “ride of passage” for my baby.  Maybe tomorrow…

Until Next Time…Namaste!

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