This finally happened.
Edem received a bike with training wheels when we first arrived in the states. It was a gift from my parents. We couldn't get him off the bike at first, and then one of the training wheels broke off. I thought that it was time for him to learn how to go on a two wheeler without support. He thought it was time to avoid the bike altogether and move on to the scooter. I cajoled in every way possible to get him up on that bike, even bribed him with ice cream over the summer, but that child can seriously dig in his heels when he doesn't want to do something.
I recently suggested that we sell the bike if he wasn't interested in riding it. He shrugged in a way that let me know that his heart wasn't in alignment with his physical action, so I held off. I pretty much just let the whole bike thing go. I didn't hear a word about it for months, and then, suddenly, as we were heading out to walk over the Brooklyn bridge, I told him to grab the scooter and these words actually came out of his mouth: I want to ride the bike.
The bike? The one without training wheels? The one that has been in the basement, collecting dust, for two years????? OH HALLELUJAH ! 2016 really was off to a great start!!!
I had to act all nonchalant- if this child knew how excited I was, he might back down. Inside I was dancing a victory dance: I CAN FINALLY RIDE BIKES WITH MY CHILD!!!!!!!!
Unfortunately, the abandoned cycle had two. very. flat. tires. The look of disappointment was intense, so we threw the bike in the trunk of the car to take it to a gas station the next day, and then off we went to the bridge- him talking about the bike the whole way there.
That brings us to today. THE DAY that will forever go down in history as "The very best day of my entire whole life," as said by Edem James Threlfall Kwashie.
My child, the great bike resister, woke up and the first words I heard as he pried my eyes open were: "Today I ride the bike. Let's go!"
We borrowed a bike pump from the folks down stairs so we could fix those deflated tires. After a few goes, little man was laughing, exclaiming: "It sounds like FARTS!! THIS IS AWESOME!" ( I really truly don't know where my child disappeared to!)
Tires full, I turned to return the pump, when I heard: "I GOT IT! I GOT IT! I CAN DO IT!!"
I turned around and there he was, just riding away on that bike like it was no big thing at all. The next two hours were filled with pleas for me to take his picture, and him asking: "Are you proud of me mom? Can you believe it? "
As we pedalled home, Edem beamed. "Mom, This is the very best day of my entire whole life. I bet I am good at other things, too!."
Little man grew big today, full of pride and accomplishment, It's been a while since I saw him smile that big- the last time may have been when he learned to ride his first bike with training wheels. It feels incredible as a parent to see your child finally overcome a fear and experience success. I feel as if I just saw a little light of confidence kick on in my child's head, and for that, I am incredibly grateful.
And so that concludes Day 3 in this diary of little joys, only this one feels pretty big. I hope you also had something to make you smile today!
Erin Michelle Threlfall
Theatre Artist, Activist, and Educator, Erin is the mother of a budding genius in his 9th year of study. Erin and her little man, Edem, have a plan to investigate world theatre and influence education one continent at a time. Ghana, South Korea, Togo and Bali have been checked off the list of places to live; these days they call Brooklyn, NY home.