4/52: Depth

Project 52.  Week 4: Depth

Last spring our very kind neighbors gifted us a pink Radio Flyer tricycle that their girls had outgrown. Rory loved it and was so excited to ride her bike like the big girls in the neighborhood. But at just over 2 years old, her feet didn’t quite reach the pedals and her steering was about as good as could be expected of a toddler. Which means it wasn’t great. She spent the entire spring, summer, and fall asking to ride that bike. JR or I would go out with her, she’d hop on, and we’d spend the next 10 or so minutes helping her—encouraging her to pedal, reminding her to steer, congratulating her on trying so hard, and ultimately pushing her along until she was bored and we were exhausted.

For the most part, the bike has sat untouched in the garage over the past few, very cold months. Every now and then Rory asks to go out and ride her bike, and while her feet can now reach the pedals, it is always more of the same.

Until the other day. The other day Rory asked to ride her bike, and even though it was freezing out I said, “yes” because we all needed some fresh air. I pulled out her bike and walked it down to the sidewalk. She hopped on. I carried Brinn along behind her as she pedaled away. 5 yards…10 yards…20 yards…50 yards. Soon she was four houses down. It took her four houses and about 75 yards for me to snap out of la-la land and realize what was happening. She was riding her bike! I wasn’t encouraging her to pedal. I didn’t remind her to steer. I was only half paying attention, really. She just…started riding her bike. A neighbor down the street came out to say hello, and all I could say was “How did that happen? When did she get so big?” Full disclosure, I got a little choked up. I was so happy for her, and proud, and also a little sad.

If you had asked me earlier in the day, I would have told you that no, Rory could not ride a bike yet. But she could! She can! Just like that. Just like everything seems to happen…in the blink of an eye.

I didn’t have my camera on me for that first real ride. Or my phone, for that matter. There is no photographic or video documentation of this “first,” but I don’t mind, because this time I got to see her soar in real time rather than from behind a lens. And the next time she went out to ride her bike, I remembered my camera : ) Oh, and what better way to show depth than a photo of my little girl riding away on her bike.

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