For my sixth birthday I got my very first bike. I was so excited!
I remember being frustrated with the training wheels, how they both wouldn’t touch the ground at the same time so I always felt a bit tipsy. I begged to take my training wheels off so I wouldn’t feel like I was going to fall over.
My older sister, Matilda, was the designated one to teach me how to keep my balance on the gravel road in front of our house. I remember I was afraid of falling over on the rocks crunching beneath my wheels. I begged Matilda to not let go as she would push me up and down the empty street.
After about an hour (at least it seemed like an hour), she promised she wouldn’t let go after my millionth request, and as a typical learning-to-ride-a-bike story goes, she let go anyway. I heard her cheering for me, her voice distant instead of right over my shoulder. For a brief moment I panicked, then that panic transitioned to exhilaration, I could do it by myself!! I pedaled a couple more times, reversed my feet to stop, and placed my two feet on the firm and sturdy ground knowing that I was safe but well aware that I wouldn’t stay there for long.