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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Steering His Own Path

A warm, spring-like breeze whipped across my face as I crooked my neck to turn around and see what all the commotion was about.

"DADDY'S COMIN' " Thing 3 screamed at the top of her very tiny, but surprisingly loud, two-year-old lungs. This was her regular 5:00 p.m. ritual. To ensure that everyone in a 500 yard radius knew that her father was returning home from work for the day.

I could see my husband's silhouette walking toward us in the western sunlight. (Western meaning he was coming from the west, not that we live in the west. Because we don't. We live in Eastern Ontario.)

I held my breath for a moment as I watched Thing 2 glance down the street and see his father walking toward him, halfway down the block. He looked at me, for encouragement, for direction, waiting for me to guide him and tell him what to do.

"You can do it," I said softly. I nodded, my non-verbal cue for him to give it a go.

He pushed several times with the tip of his left brown, velcroed, Geox sneaker and then ever-so-cautiously jerked that left foot onto the black, rectangular bike pedal. The bright green bike's handlebars wobbled like a Weeble for a brief second, and then my boy's strong, firm, four-year-old arms steadied them. His tiny legs began to pedal and he drifted down our crescent only looking up to meet his dad's face as it practically exploded with pride.

Things 1 and 3 sprinted down the street behind their two-wheelin' brother as fast as they could. My heart was melting, which somehow made their screams of "HE DID IT!!" and "WE LOVE YOU AND ARE SO PROUD OF YOU" somewhat inaudible.

His father's hug and approval and encouragement made the hours we had spent that afternoon, falling off the bike, getting back on the bike, kicking the bike, screaming at the bike . . . unequivocally and completely worth it.

You all know that I worry about Thing 2 because he is the middle child. And it's for that reason that I really revel in the little glories and successes my little man encounters. Like riding a two-wheeler bike, on his own, with no training wheels, at four-and-a-half years old. At an earlier age than his older brother had.

Yup, that's my boy.

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