I lived in a fenced-in neighborhood in Mexico City. Although we did not have freedom to wander anywhere we wanted, the neighborhood kids and I owned the safe streets of our small community. We had hills, empty lots where we built forts, and trees to climb. Oh the many days spent on my bike riding with my friends, the wind on my face, sun on my back, and the promise of fresh lemonade waiting for us when we needed a break.
The thing is, riding a bike is not the same for kids with special needs.
Last summer, Nina got to borrow an adaptive bike from the school so that we could work with her at home. Nina had an IEP last Tuesday, and Andy asked if we could borrow it again this summer. For many kids with cerebral palsy, things like riding a bike can be challenging because of coordination and strength.
But then Friday came along, and Nina decided, forget the adaptive bike, I want to feel that wind on my face the same way all typical kids do, I am not missing out on that!
So she got on the little bike with training wheels...and she took off!
This girl is ready to prove that she is full of potential. Amazing how chasing her as she rides her bike reminds me of where she would be at if we had not adopted her. Yet here she is, feeling the wind on her face, flying down the street on her bike!
And you know what? I think someday those training wheels will come off.
Now here is the deal, Ellie (my oldest) witnessed Nina riding her bike and thought, I am older than my sister, maybe it is about time I lose the training wheels.
So on Saturday she asked Andy to take the training wheels off and asked, "Do you think I can learn how to ride my bike today?" And he said, "Well, maybe it will take a little while, but we can start working on it." But she said, "No, I want to learn to-day!"
She has heard us say plenty of times, "You can do anything you set your mind to" and she believes it. She wanted to loose the training wheels on Saturday and learn how to ride her bike...so that is exactly what she did!
Today, both Andy and I have gone around the block with her a few times, and she already tried to ride "as fast as I can" which almost resulted in a wipe-out. Thankfully, she saved her balance and kept going.
I call this one memorable weekend!
Now to get the rascal to show an interest in riding a bike!