Thursday, July 1, 2010

Look What #5 Can Do!

In addition to collecting stray and abandoned pets, our porch collects old, broken bicycles. All last summer our children bugged us to fix their bikes, and Kent and I managed to procrastinate the chore. A couple weeks ago, Kent pointed out that we are robbing them of one of the joys of childhood and we should cough up the money and make sure they each have a working bicycle.

Some friends of ours teach their children bike maintenance, and the kids make money fixing neighborhood bikes. They hauled our bike collection over to their garage and made some minor repairs. Surprisingly, only one of the bicycles was not worth fixing. I can strip it for parts, though. The repairs cost less than half what I thought they would, which was pleasant news (though it adds to my procrastination guilt).

Tuesday morning we had four functioning bicycles waiting for my kids to ride. Since my kids' legs have grown considerably longer than the last time they could ride these bikes, I suggested that #1 help everyone figure out which bike now fits whom...and I went back to my gardening. (Yes, in years past I've prioritized my gardening hobby over fulfilling a basic element of their happy childhood. But I've repented!) Twenty minutes later, I looked up to see #5 riding down the sidewalk!

Last year he had a toddler bike with training wheels--one where the pedals are part of the axle of the front wheel. Other than that, he's had no bicycle training. Needless to say, I was impressed. #1 would balance the bike while #5 climbed on, and then she ran to get him started. Wednesday evening I spent some time with him at the church lot teaching him to stop without crashing to the ground, and to start on his own. The church's long, straight sidewalk bordered by grass on either side, and the big, empty parking lot provide the perfect arena for learning to ride a two-wheeler. Now #5 is independent on the bike, and is as proud of himself as I am of him.

Explanatory note: For those of you who clicked on a photo to enlarge it and noticed that #5's bike is pink, I ask, "What do you expect four older sisters to hand down to their only brother?" At least he's riding in his Batman pajamas instead of a princess dress! I did buy some black spray paint to make his bike more masculine. If you are concerned about my procrastinating habits affecting my little guy's manhood, feel free to come over and complete the painting project any time.


Charlotte said...

It seems we are constantly fixing the bikes. I guess that is what happens when you have 8 of them to maintain. I need to see which of ours needs repairs (again).

Alfie said...

Congrats #5! Maybe in a few weeks I can come over and help with the spray paint. That pink has got to go!

Nate said...

congrats heber! That's quite an accomplishment

Jenni said...

Dang snap! What a talented little guy!!!

Jake's looking forward to helping get rid of the pink (he can empathize with poor Heber)