The Don Learns To Ride a Trike

One of my worst childhood memories was when I was in preschool.  I was about three years old when the class had playtime and the activity was a tricycle race. I never rode a tricycle before and it looked like it would be fun.  I remember the race took place in the church hallway; I wasn’t sure if we were in the basement or not, but I remember it wasn’t much lighting. I was sitting on the tricycle with two other kids next to me. I was nervous because I never learned to ride a trike but I thought, “How hard could this be?” 

When the teacher said go, the other kids sped quickly down the hall.  I was trying to push the pedals as hard as I could, but it felt like I wasn’t going anywhere.  I don’t remember if the teacher was coaching me on or not but it didn’t matter because I felt alone. The two kids that were beside me came back down to the finish line and I recall the next two kids coming up beside me as I barely made it to the end of the hall.  The other kids swerve back around to the starting line as I turned around to make it slowly back.  The next set of kids came up and then came back to the starting line.  My legs were getting tired and I remember the tears streaming from my eyes as I was trying not to be the last one to finish. Every kid had their turn racing their trikes and I was the only one that the teacher was waiting for.  I started into a panic cry because I felt defeated and embarrass because I couldn’t ride a trike. Why didn’t my parents teach me to ride a trike?  I promised myself that I wouldn’t shelter my children so they can experience the joy of childhood.  One of those experiences is riding a tricycle. 

The Don started to learn to ride a tricycle when he was two years old.  My husband and I tried showing him how to ride it but he was more interested in the wheels and how the bike worked instead of how to ride it.  When The Don turned three years old, his interested peak and he wanted to learn how to ride a bike.  Yesterday, we were at the Smith Memorial Playground where they have an indoor play area and in the basement they have tricycles and push scooters for toddlers.  The Don got on one and started to ride it.  When he tried to turn, he would stand up and turn the bike himself instead of using the handlebars.  I showed him as he sat and use the pedal and guided him to turn the handlebars to turn corners.

This was the result:




I’m very impressed how The Don caught on so quickly.  It’s like he’s been riding a trike for years.  I don’t want to think that I’m living through my children.  It’s just I don’t want them to experience embarrassment the way I did and I think it helps his confidence to know that he can tackle a challenge and be a kid at the same time. It’s good that he learns to be a kid and do what kids do.  I’m trying not to shelter my children the way my parents did me.  I can’t be afraid that my children will get hurt because there are lesson to learn in getting hurt too.  It teaches them what you can and cannot do.   I grew up being fearful of the unknown; I want to teach my children to never fear the unknown.  The Don took that first step to learn something that he didn’t know and it made him more confident in the end. That’s the important part.


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