Princess has finally learned to ride her bike.
While I was gone SW became a woman on a mission, and come hell or high water she was going to get Princess (the biggest wuss on the planet) to ride her bike without the training wheels on it. At seven years old, it was time.
She managed to finally get her to go down a short hill. And then a short distance. And then, using the motivation that I would soon be home and that she had to be ready to show me, she finally took off and rode around the circumference of the park where she was learning.
And right into a tree.
Back to square one.
Fast forward to this weekend, when we finally convinced her to try again, and with a little practice she was not only up and running, we couldn't stop her. She looks funny with her little daisy-imprinted helmet on, and at her age her posture is still perfect so it forces you to hum the theme from "Wizard of Oz" when the witch is riding her bicycle in the beginning. It's great to see her having so much fun, but it made me think of the difference between her world now and mine when I was a kid.
She'll never have the joy that I had when I was riding my bike. With the world today, she'll never have the complete freedom that I felt when I would just get on my bike in the mroning with my biddies and go. Or how cool I thought it was when I would pack a lunch in my backpack and go have a picnic somewhere by myself and not come back for hours. And I lived in the city.
The first time she'll have that complete and beautiful freedom will be when she gets a car, since I will always live in a constant fear of what will happen to her if she's gone out of my knowledge for more than a few minutes. And I wonder what that will do to this generation--delaying that level of independence for so long due to fear.
But for now, I'm going to enjoy watching her feel good about herself wobbling around a safe park with me and SW watching, and try desperately to hold on to this little girl while she still lets me.