Tuesday, June 2, 2009
And he rides.
I love this child.
Ah, Max. A middle born in every way, my sweet boy got a little bit older yesterday. A little bit more independent. A little bit more like his big brother. Yesterday, we bid farewell to his training wheels.
The idea was all his, as he sat around the kitchen table early in the afternoon and said, quite matter-of-fact in his four-year old voice, "I'm having dad take my training wheels off of my bike. Then I'm going to ride around in the grass. And after that I am going to just go really, really fast."
I remember late November 2006, Max's wispy blond locks blowing every which way, his sherpa patagonia vest (my favorite kid's clothing item ever) zipped up tight in the late fall wind. We'd just handed down Noah's old Red Flyer tricycle, and there was a look of sheer determination in Max's eyes. A look that said, "I don't care if my feet don't touch the pedals. I'm makin' this work."
And he did.
Now I find myself standing in front of that same Red Flyer, only it isn't Max messing around with the handlebars and pedals. It's Lizzie.
Max is zooming up and down the driveway, his training wheels wobbling and buckling under his speed. Yes, I thought to myself, he's ready. So soon.
Justin came home from work early and set about making a true two-wheeler. There was so much excitement in the air.
I found myself skipping between video camera and still frames, trying to hide my need to protect, to control the situation from behind the lens as I watched Justin run alongside, and let go, Max teetering and toppling over again and again.
My natural instinct was to run alongside yelling things like "Justin! Hold him tighter!" and "Careful, Max! Careful!" But everytime he fell, he had a face that said "I. Love. This."
So I bit my lip. I watched a group of ants scrambling in and out of a pile of sand along the side of our driveway. I took a breath and looked up as Max screamed out my name.
And this is what I saw:
I so, so, so love being a mama.