Like riding a bike

In about 3 weeks, Benjamin turns 4.  Which is astonishing to me, because could it really have been 4 years since that amazing, overwhelming, magical day when he was born and my entire purpose on this planet changed?  Apparently so.

On the big day, we will be in the US, at the beach, celebrating with family and having a marvelous time.  We are all looking forward to it very much.  But, there was one gift he wanted in particular which would have been difficult to transport on the plane and impossible to do so as a surprise.  We decided to coordinate his not-quite-birthday with the party that they threw for him at school yesterday.  (So, in true Virkus family fashion, this child is going to have over 3 weeks of birthday.  Excellent!)

His big gift was a bike.  A bike with actual pedals, a bell and a little flag.  It’s really cool.  If I was 3 years old, I would want it.  Actually, if it was a little bigger, I’d want it now.  He’s been riding a “pushing bike” for a year (he got that for his 2nd birthday) and he’s really gotten good at it.  He’s been practicing on the scooters that they have a school, and I thought that was what he was going to ask for for his birthday, but he asked for a pedalling bike.

Even getting the smallest one we could find, it’s barely little enough for him.  But, I was pretty sure he was ready.  He can pedal on his tricycle and balance and turn on his pushing bike, so all that’s left is to put the two skills together.  That’s pretty amazing, though.  I think I was 6 or 7 when I got my first “real” bike, and it had training wheels.  Here he is, at 3-almost-4, and we’re getting him his first real bike.

He rode it around the house for a bit yesterday.  It’s enough bigger than his pushing bike that he was having a lot of trouble just negotiating the furniture, the dog, and Liam without someone getting squished.  Adding in the pedalling, and he got a little frustrated.  “I’m not very good at pedalling”, he said, a few times yesterday.

So today, Dan took him out to the park at the Rathaus to practice.  I figured that it would take him a week or so to feel confident on the bike.  I figured he’d wobble, and maybe fall a few times, and possibly get discouraged before putting it all together.

Nope.  It took him 20 minutes.

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Benjamin can ride a bike.  He’ll be 4 next month.  He’ll be able to do this for his entire life.  (I can attest to the fact that even after almost 15 years off from bike riding, it really does come right back to you.)  I am astonished and very impressed.  What a cool kid.  I’m so proud of him.

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