Tuesday, 12 July 2011

I will catch you if you fall...

Today has been all about bikes.

My daughter Olivia has set her sights at learning to ride her new bike.

Without training wheels.

She is seven. (She is tiny.)

She is artistic, beautiful and articulate, and I could not be more proud of her strengths.

Persistence is one.

Cycling without training wheels is not. Yet.

She is a cautious and peaceful child, and always has been. I realise, as I try and help her on that damn bike, that she has no recklessness in her soul at all. There is not one shred of a risk taker in her.

She knows she will fall, and cannot and will not allow that to happen.


She knows, I sense, that she must fall, in order to eventually succeed.

I watched her, her face nearly next to mine as I held on to the saddle, willing it all, so hard,  to work without risk. If she imagines it hard enough, if she sees it all working seamlessly in her minds eye, if she feels it in her heart, can she ride that damn bike without wobbles and stacks? Without trepidation?

We chatted later. I reassured her that we would practice again tomorrow, on the oval behind our property. On the grass. Where the landing is softer. Kinder.

But I will still probably  fall, won't I? She asked, her huge green eyes pleading for some reassurance.

She breaks my heart. I cuddled her, and said yes, you'll still maybe fall.

But I will be here.

Let me catch you if you fall...


  1. Bless her. It will come.
    But I repeat, take a flask of booze with you and your patience level will rise too ;)

  2. In the end the only thing I could do with my older girls was to bribe them with beanie kids, shut my eyes and leave them to it.
    It took less than an hour

  3. riding a bike is like magic, once you learn you never forget. My dad worked w/ us for hours before we learned how, running alongside us.

    I would like to teach a kid how to ride a bike someday.

  4. Good post. I was just teaching a 6 year old how to ride with no training wheels last week. He learned remarkably fast. Either it was his smartness, or my good teacher skills... Probably the former.

  5. This was a mommy moment post. And it was so sweet! But to me, it was a reminder that I have to be willing to fall if I am to grow. Thank you for sharing such a special post!

  6. I've done this 3 times and each time it's been magical.

    The moment they realise that they've wobbled off on their own. The pride and the beaming smile that they've done it (and that's just me) makes the fear that's gone before just disappear.

    She'll be fine :)

  7. Aww bless her cotton socks! She sounds - and definately looks - so gorgeous and sweet-hearted...
    My son is only 18 mths old but i'm sure when it comes time to learn to ride a bike he'll actually enjoy the falling and crashing part - he's such a dude!

  8. I'm so glad you've decided to move on to the field behind your property...last weekend I was driving out of a client's driveway and I saw a very young boy (maybe four) riding his bike on the road (!) with his dad walking close behind him...there was another car coming in the opposite direction, so I thought to myself "I am not moving an inch until the car has passed and this little boy is back in his driveway..."just as I was thinking that I heard a loud thump on my door - the little fellow had run, head-first, into my car!!! - dad and mum were very apologetic and have offered to pay for the repair to my car...it was his first day without training wheels...I wish he'd been on the footpath and not on the road...

  9. Oh love her. So true about life isn't it? We sometimes have to fall x

  10. My boys were fearless..and my daughter determined, but still it's better they learn to fall off when their bones are still pliable and there bodies soft..'cos there will still be stacks at times even when they can ride their bikes! Just like life..we get a fairly good handle on it but still fall occasionally.

  11. This strikes me as a bigger lesson than just learning to ride a bike. A tough lesson to learn, and I think we all need to learn to be a little less afraid of the fall. x

  12. No matter how often we remind ourselves that it's ok to fall or make mistakes, somehow when trying something new we are still the frightened little girl learning to ride without training wheels.

    Bless her heart. Once she masters the skill, there'll be no stopping her!

  13. What a beautiful post Lucy. Your love, compassion and fierce protectiveness as a mother shines through. How hard it is for us to let our children take the 'knocks' of life, but also how important.
    She will fall, but she will get back up and eventually shine with a beautiful smile full of relief and happiness, and you will beam with pride as you should. x


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