The Removal of the Training Wheels

Three months ago Zach announced it, but I avoided the removal of the training wheels for several weeks.

I try to keep life easy– for ME. Training wheels serve a purpose beyond helping with bike balance; they also slow a kid down.

I’ve already lived through the experience of having to decide which child was in the most immediate risk for severe danger and dammit, I don’t want to do that again. Like ever.

Zach eventually just asked JB to take the training wheels off and before I could scream “look a squirrel” the kid was rocking it Big Kid style.

In an effort to not be the crazy shrew mom– I keep reminding myself of the joy and freedom that comes from riding a bike. Which leads me to remember how much fun I had pretending that my pink huffy was the Kit to my feminized version of Knightrider. Which then leads me to remember riding that same pink huffy down still-in-use railroad tracks while smoking cigarettes stolen from my Dad.

My own memories of extreme stupidity, and Zach’s just-being-five seems to be equating to a giant buzz kill. Because I’m all insistent that he not die, and am somehow assuming he will make the same stupid decisions. Which isn’t fair to him. Elliot? Yeah, probably fair for him.

I can even admit that I might be suffering from a bit of the melodrama since I survived childhood in spite of myself. But still.

Here’s a smallish breakdown of tonight’s bike riding session with two Small People, two Furry Friends on leashes, and two adults.

–15 feet into the ride, I’m screeching (to all three of the penised people) — “to the right, stay to the right!”


–35 feet– To JB: “OMG, are you really just going to chill back here, walking the dogs while Z goes tearing down that blind hill?”

–37 feet (after JB catches up to BOTH of them, since E has figured out how to speed race on a freaking 12 inch bike with training wheels) a car full of dumb-ass teenagers* tears up the hill going at least 100 miles per hour. Okay, maybe not a 100– but at least 40 MPH.

–38 feet– “I’m not mad at you, Zach. I know you are trying to do what I ask, but you have to try harder, or Mommy is going to lose her shit.”

–42 feet– “GET OUT OF THE MIDDLE OF THE DAMN ROAD!” as I watch him ride into the middle of said road and park. Because he’s five and has forgotten what I said 4 feet ago.

–44 feet and I’m screaming “SLOW THE HELL DOWN” at a pizza delivery truck.

–54 feet (whoot– a whole 10 feet on incident free riding). “You can go ahead; just stop at the stop sign.”

–56 feet, as he flies toward the stop sign with no indication that he’s going to stop, “Brakes, Zach. BRAKES!”

I miss the rides when he was rolling on one of these.

While he and I waited for the rest of our crew to catch up I realized… this bike-with-no-training wheels excursion is a sneak-peek into my future. The future where, in about a decade, he’s going to expect me to teach him to drive a car. And then let him drive one of those cars without an adult, realizing that he might be one of those dumb-ass teenagers driving way too fast down a neighborhood street.

We are simply going to have to move to a city with efficient and reliable public transportation– like DC or New York. Because y’all? My heart can’t take teaching him how to drive a car. It can’t.

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