I haven’t completely failed as a father!
With the consumption of time that comes along with Mason’s autism, therapies, and constant need of juggling life priorities Claire-Marie and Kyler have often had to unjustly take a back seat.
They rarely complain.
At the very least 2 years ago, maybe even 3 we bought Claire-Marie her first bicycle a mixture of chrome and bright pink, complete with girly tassels and training wheels.
She quickly mastered whizzing around the neighborhood WITH the training wheels securely fastened the entire time.
I absentmindedly never made removing the training wheels a priority.
She hit a growth spurt and outgrew the bicycle and took to new interests, karate, playing with Kyler and the boys across the street (she’s a tomboy) and growing mealworms and monitoring their progress from mealworm to pupa to beetle.
As last summer and fall came to an end and the weather started turning cooler I realized that I had let a crucial time slip by and she missed out learning to ride without the safety of the training wheels. Her friends were now whizzing by her on two wheels.
She was "that kid".....the one who at age 7 still couldn't ride a bike.
We bought her a new bike on Monday and before I removed it from the trunk I resolved that we were going to do this right here, right now.
She donned her helmet.
She psyched herself up and mounted the new bike.
With a wicked determined snarl she said “Let’s Do This!” and started pedaling with me holding her steady and running by her side.
Faster, faster and I was holding on less and less….she was succeeding and she was proud.
She wore it on her face and her entire being.
Now 3 days later she’s unstoppable…..well unless a neighbors trash can gets in the way like it did today…..twice.. Those stopped her pretty effectively.
Mason’s next…..we’re surrounding him with people that love him, completing his therapies religiously and working on building skills that will get him through life. These are his training wheels and one day he’ll be riding on his own.