This morning, I took a deep breath and cut the cord again.
My 10 year old was so confident in her ability to ride her bike to school. The last time I saw this look in her eyes was the day she got her ears pierced. How could I say no?
In the last few weeks, I've seen her ride uphill and downhill on our street. I was confident in her ability too. I just didn't want to admit it. I laid down the rules.
- Rule #1 Stay on the sidewalks.
- Rule #2 Look both ways when you need to cross the street.
- Rule #3 Watch out for driveways, dogs and dump trucks (Today is trash day).
- Rule #4 You have to let me follow you to school for my own peace of mind.
She turned the corner like a pro and looked both ways before crossing the first street. She made sure to ride up to the break in the curb and back onto the sidewalk.
The big hill was coming up. I could see a look of determination in her face. She pedaled and pedaled as I followed slowly behind her. Another car came up behind me - probably wondering why I was going so slow. I sped up for him keeping an eye on her in the rear view mirror.
I lost sight of her for a minute, but then I saw her again pedaling a little easier now as she made it up the hill. She could see the school in the distance and pedaled even faster. The crossing guard moved a little quicker as he saw her coming. He made sure that the cars would stop as she crossed the street.
I meet her at the bike rack at school. She showed me how she can lock and unlock her bike and then went into school. I was so caught up in the moment that I forgot to take a picture of her at school. But, believe me it was a Kodak moment and the knot in my stomach began to untie itself.
I cut the cord - again. I'm proud of the both of us. I saw her little brother look up at me wanting to ask if he could ride his bike tomorrow. Thank goodness the school doesn't allow 1st graders to ride to school yet.
I looked down and said - "Don't even think about it," knowing his turn will come someday.