Dear Training Wheels,
Gosh, when I think about you I blush. All those memories and that youthful style… ah, what style. The days when we would rip around the block so recklessly on bike–no taller than my father’s knees–with my head tilted back laughing and showing my gap filled teeth to the sky. I was young and we were strong. You were my support.
Then you left me, training wheels. How?! Why?! You were there one day and the next you were gone. Did Dad take you away? I remember him saying, “Well, son, it’s just you this time.” I looked through the shadow of the garage and he was pushing my bike out with you unattached. I was scared. My small feet trembling like my knees do when I would see cookies back then.
It was time.
My Dad had strolled with me out onto the paved street in front of our house with his hands on my shoulders. I looked back and saw you, training wheels, stacked in the front corner of the garage. The bolts and tools were still there beside you from being taken off my bike. Then Dad called to me, “Lets go!”
He pushed me off and there I was rolling. I was so concerned with keeping my balance I forgot to pedal, and yes, I eventually tipped right over. You were watching, like a proud parent. A glimmer of “ouch” tears in my eyes and an instant look back towards my dad.
“Again!” Dad said. And again I went. You were still there in the corner, but I never forgot about you…not once.
By the end of that day I was riding my bike training wheels free. That’s why I really just wanted to say thank you, training wheels. Thanks for instilling something in me that wasn’t before. Thank you for giving me the building blocks and helping develop my inner strength when my support goes missing. It’s a fast paced world and maturity brings responsibility. That’s not always easy. We can’t always have training wheels there to guide us, to hold us up, or to keep us from hurting, but that’s what was so great: we were taught the lesson of how to support ourselves. The training wheels are a valuable life lesson in “rising to the occasion,” or for the more scientific, a lesson in adaptability.
You, training wheels, you were teaching me independence from day one.
Older, more crazy me