Tonight we took the training wheels off my son’s bike, and I couldn’t be more nervous.
My wife, in attempts to encourage him to learn to ride without the training wheels, told him he could ride faster without training wheels.
For my son, who LOVES to run as fast as humanly possible, it was like throwing gas on a fire.
Go faster? Yes, please!
Meanwhile, my first instinct was to rush out and buy him elbow and knee pads… and maybe see if someone can repave our roads with that soft foamy surface they use in some playgrounds.
I’m a worrier. I get that from my mom. But I don’t want to be the overprotective father who keeps his son from ever getting hurt, from learning to take chances. I see other kids who do all kinds of things I’m scared to hell to let my son do. His cousin, for instance (only a year older) rides BMX bikes. He’s going to be a stunt double someday.
I want my son to have that kind of self-confidence, and not be a worrier. Nothing is worse for a boy growing up ( trust me, I know from personal experience ) than to be a worrier. On the one hand, my mom’s overprotective nature probably saved me from dying in some freak bike off the roof type mishap, but there has to be some happy medium where you can let your kids do some things even though they might get hurt.
Without life’s bumps and bruises, we fail to grow.
So, I unscrewed the training wheels, trying not to freak out and picture my son with bruises, broken bones, and whatever else can go wrong falling from a bike.
My wife and I ran beside him, holding on, as he attempted to balance. But man, he was having a hard time balancing and remembering to pedal forward.
So, after a trip up the block and back, it was getting dark, and my fat ass was getting winded trying to keep up, so we decided to head inside for the night.
He didn’t want to go in, though. He wanted to keep riding.
I, though, was all too eager to get him back inside and off the road.
So, tomorrow, we’ll head back out while he learns to ride, and I learn to let go.
Thank you for reading,
(P.S. I’m thinking about trying with one training wheel at first, or maybe with a lighter bike? This beast ways almost as much as him? Any suggestions from those of you who have been through this? Please leave a comment below.)