When my Dad was a child, his father’s idea of teaching him how to swim was to take him out in a boat and throw him in the ocean or lake or whatever body of water they happened to be floating upon.
It was, literally, sink or swim.
Thankfully, my Dad was buoyant.
I guess my grandfather’s philosophy applies not at ALL to our method of teaching our children to swim, but for something a bit more down to earth: riding a bike without training wheels.
Sawyer was indoctrinated when he was just over four and a half. You might remember this day. I sure do. Not just because Sawyer learned to ride on two wheels, but because while he was at the park doing so, I was peeing on a stick and was stunned to discover I was pregnant with the Xander-to-be.
Today we decided it was Sage’s turn. She wasn’t so thrilled by the idea. She wanted them off. She didn’t want them off. And so on. David took her – just a special Daddy/Daughter trip – to the park across the street where Sawyer had learned.
They returned 20 minutes later. I was not encouraged. I figured he took the training wheels off, she refused to get on the bike, crying ensued, and David, frustrated, took her back home.
Instead, they got out of the car and David brought the bike up the street.
Sage got on.
David gave a little push.
And off. She. Went.
Yes, I cried.
There she was, with her brother and the neighbor boys all cheering her and zipping around her, riding her pink bike, her tongue stuck out to the side when she cornered.
Turns out, they got to the park, David took off the training wheels, and she got right on. A push, a hold-steady, and she was riding.
The best part is she’s now really part of the gang. Pretty soon she’s going to be fast enough to keep up with the bigger kids (and a smaller one who was riding on two wheels before he was 3). Just like when her brother did it, she’s dipping another toe into the waters of independence.
At four years, four months.
Congratulations, Sage. I knew you could do it. Because once you figure out what it is you want, you go get it. And hey – your big brother will always have your back.