Saturday Open Thread- Rite of Passage Edition

It’s the weekend, y’all!

And I must admit, I’m feeling a little smug today. See that picture? That’s my little girl, riding a bike all on her own. WOO HOO!! It happened yesterday, and all of us were over the moon about it.

Now I know that’s no special feat and that many kids (many of them younger than my DD) master this skill every day. But here’s the thing: there were no tears. No traumatic falls, no frustrated yelling, no heartbreaking cries.

In short, Maya’s learning experience was 180 degrees from what DH and I experienced back in the Dark Ages.

My parents didn’t get around to buying me a bike until I was 7.5 years old. I had training wheels (embarrassing!) for a short time, then my dad and uncle just pushed me off down the street. When I looked back and realized I was sailing on my own– CRASH! I fell immediately. You can still see the scar on my knee. So yeah, it was a sink-or-swim scenario, and eventually I managed to float.

And then there’s poor DH. He was 8 years old when his father got around to teaching him to ride his older brothers’ hand-me-down cycle (DH was the fourth of five sons. I think FIL was just plain tired, quite frankly). There was much yelling and cursing, and DH remembers feeling humiliated and crying in front of the neighbors as he finally managed to master the skill.

When it came time to teach our DD, my husband the cycling nut spotted this genius tip in one of his magazines: remove the pedals from the bike, lower the seat, and teach your kid to glide and balance first. Basically, we created a poor man’s Like A Bike. On three separate days last week, we took an evening walk– DH running alongside Maya as she mastered her balancing, me and Alex bringing up the rear with his stroller.

Then yesterday, DH put the pedals back on. I was nervous as she straddled the bike and pushed down on the pedals but– HOLY CARP– she took off, just like that! It was an awesome thing to see. She was thrilled, and we were proud. And no one was screaming or crying– WINNING!

We ran around the street. I played paparazzi, DH played safety monitor as she learned to turn and brake. She did end up taking a couple of tumbles but bravely bounced back up, with lots of soothing and encouragement from Mami and Papi. As Maya whizzed by, chattering about “family bike rides” and wondering if she could enter a “little girl bike race,” I had to give my husband a high five. Our approach was more careful and touchy-feely than our parents’, and the end result was pleasant all around.

Today we’ll be buying her some big girl wheels (she already picked out a hot pink number at the bike shop) and maybe before the weekend is over, we will take that family bike ride. Maya will lead the way, DH will follow with our little cherub in a trailer, and I’ll be the one bringing up the rear, with the goofy smile on my face.

It’s the little things, amirite? :-)

What are your plans this weekend? What’s on your mind today? Chat away!

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Monday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

In domestic news: the Sacramento Bee ran an article about how difficult it is for undocumented youth — brought here at a very young age by their parents — to experience rites of passage in the United States like dating, traveling or getting a driver’s license.

A couple articles in Newsweek I would like to highlight: the first is the juxtaposition of vaccination rates falling in areas where people are likely to sport “Darwin fish” stickers on their hybrid cars.

The second one is about how lawmakers live on the road since their families no longer move to Washington D.C.. I’ve heard arguments in favor and against this “trend.” The pros: this forces politicians to spend more time in their districts. The cons: this doesn’t allow for politicians to reach across party lines and strike deals. I still say whether politicians are in D.C. or in their home districts, they spend way too much time raising money for re-election. What say you?

In international news: a German court has just ruled that companies are not infringing on women’s personal rights by asking them to wear a bra — either white or beige so it doesn’t show through — and keep their fingernails short and clean, according to the Post-Chronicle. What do you think, ladies?

And I will end on that note on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. What are you doing today? What else is in the news?

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