Nobody remembers learning to walk, but everybody remembers learning how to ride a bike.
I didn’t learn to ride a bike without training wheels until I was about 10 years old. Between the years of 6 or 7 and 10, when I realized that everyone else my age could ride without training wheels and I couldn’t, I stopped riding my bike at all. I dreaded school events that involved bike riding, afraid I would be found out. And then one day I was at another girl’s house with my parents, and she said, “You don’t know how to ride a bike? I’ll teach you!” And she did.
Bea learned to ride her bike three days ago. After spending the whole summer riding a runner bike that was so short she had to glide along with her legs bent at a 90 degree angle, she’s mastered her bicycle in three days, without falling once.
“I’m doing it!” she cried, as I ran along beside her the first time. I ran beside her two or three more times up and down the block before I realized that I could stop running now. She sailed on away from me, confident and free. And I stood there, grinning, with my hands hanging empty by my sides.