Sammy began hounding me the day after his birthday that he was indeed ready to ride without training wheels. insistent ornery and demanding he repeated a trillion times "take off the side wheels I am ready to go" I didn't believe him. I was tired and cranky and had about enough I finally just said "fine, when daddy comes home we can take off the training wheels"By the time my husband came home I figured Sammy had forgotten. Sammy then went ,took out a wrench and dismantled his training wheels himself in stealth Sammy fashion.He comes in with one training wheel in hand and a smear of grease across his soft white cheek, smudges of dirt under his eye, and the look of accomplishment and pride plastered on his face.
I cant lie, I was not ready for this. I didn't believe he was either. This same boy could not even pedal a tricycle last summer. The coordination it takes to move a bike is tremendous. I could only see our past attempts at difficult things playing out in front of me. the frustration the anger and the screaming. That screaming goes through me like a hot poker. I hate it.So I tried distraction and got the boys to go for a walk with me. We walked 6 square blocks. It was almost dark when we got home. The first few blocks I could hear Sammy muttering "I am going to ride my bike,dad said,when I get home" over and over and over but he stopped before we got home. I thought we were passed it...nope. We turn the corner to the house and Sammy takes off like a rocket and comes back a second later with his bike helmet on. "daddy, I'm ready to go"
I am holding my breath, stealing myself for what is sure to come. Daniel helps him remove the other wheel and we take him across the street. I did not bring the camera, thinking for sure this was going to end badly. I grit my teeth and sit on the curb watching...
HE did it. Really did it. first try he rode a two wheeler all by himself. he didn't fall once. he just rode and rode and rode in circles. He smiled..no BEAMED! He was so proud of himself. I fumbled with my phone trying to get a usable video to post. It's so hard to see but it's there.
Tears streaming down my face as I watch my Sammy Sunshine riding a bike, like millions of other 7 year olds across the country ,across the world. It's so normal, so typical...so HUGE! It's so easy to take for granted moments like this, to just assume your child will learn to ride a bike. It is the little things like this that help me to wake up and fight this battle one more day. It's moments like this that Sammy and I win against autism and I can exhale and enjoy it. We win, autism doesn't take away my baby tonight, it releases it's icy grasp on my sunshine boy for just one night.One Night of reprieve and hope that there may be more to come. someday.
We celebrated with strawberry milkshakes and big kid glasses and straws. We shot straw wrappers at each other and giggled together at the table. Daniel asked Sammy how he knew he was ready and he only had this to say
"I watched the big kids, it made sense,I saw them and figured it out, to ride a bike, just make it turn"