The other day, while I was busy cleaning the house and keeping up with our youngest child, I glanced out the window to see my 7-year-old and 5-year-old discussing something serious while looking at my 7-year old’s bike. As I walked closer to the window, to make sure they were not fighting in the front yard for all of our neighbors to witness, I watched my 5-year-old little girl get on the bike with my 7-year-old boy holding his bike for her to get on. He then held on to the bike as she began to speed away. He let go. She didn’t fall. I ran back to the garage area (the quickest way through the house) to see what would happen. My little girl pulled into the garage and stopped and got off of the bike. She just learned how to ride a bike without training wheels. And I didn’t teach her.
Of course, at first thought, I felt like a horrible mother because she is 5 years old and I hadn’t taught her how to ride without training wheels yet, but then I felt a little bit of pride as one of my kids helped the other learn. Without me.
I don’t’ think there is any better description of my own reality of parenting as this moment. A feeling of a parenting fail, followed by a parenting win. My kids learned how to do something by figuring it out their self. They helped one another. Learning to ride a bike without training wheels is kind of a big deal to me, it’s like a rite of passage. Teaching my kid how to become independent and do something that takes them speeding away from me, is not something I take lightly. It won’t be much longer before they will be gone, but it makes my heart happy that they were learning with each other as they grew up while I literally blinked.