Ben and his bike!

I have a list as long as my arm of things I should be doing tonight, emails to reply to, photographs to edit and reviews to write however I’m not doing any of them.  Tonight I have something far more important to write about.  This is one of those posts that is exactly the reason I started my blog . . . a milestone to be celebrated, to be recorded, to be remembered. 

Tonight my baby boy learned to ride his bike! 

If you’ve been reading my blog for a long time you might remember that we took Ben’s stabilisers off a good couple of years ago and he made good progress but in the end we decided he just wasn’t ready.  He was only just 4 and a couple of falls knocked his confidence, he just wasn’t brave enough to keep trying. 

Fast forward two years and he has long since outgrown his bike (which had been stored in the loft during our building work and never came back down).  Since we got back from our holiday in France last August, Ben started to save up to buy himself a new bike.  We told him that if he could save up half, we would pay the other half for him.  

Although Dave put his bike together for him just over a week ago, our busy schedule and the poor weather has meant he didn’t get out on it for the first time until yesterday.  Dave and Ben went out to the park together for about twenty minutes and managed to get him going so he could ride with Daddy’s hand on his back – great for Ben, pretty exhausting for Dave running alongside him! 

Tonight, we took advantage of the lighter evenings and after an early tea we set off to the park as soon as Dave got home from work.  Camera in hand, hoping to catch some special moments between father and son. 

What I actually caught was my boy, learning to ride his bike . . . all by himself. Within half an hour he had sussed the lot – he can set off by himself, use his brakes, turn corners  . . . I may well have shed a tear or two.  Both Dave and I were thoroughly impressed with his determination and resilience.  The “I can’t turn corners and have forgotten to use my brakes” episode which ended up with him crashing into a bin and almost wrapping himself around a lamp post could easily have been a signal to give up and go home, but he got back on and he kept on going. 

Our local park is divided into four sections with a footpath all around the outside and then through the middle.  Before we came home this evening Ben managed to take himself all round one half of the square by himself – he fell once, got back on and set off again. 

The fist pump and exclamation of “I can’t believe it, I can ride my bike!” was a moment to savour.  The sense of achievement and pride in himself was clear from his beaming face!!


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