Monday, 2 April 2012

Balancing act

He dragged his big brother's heavy, old, red bike out of the tangle of ivy and pushed it up the driveway. He waited while I consoled his baby brother and chased the rabbit around the yard a couple of times before it hopped back into its hutch. He climbed on with quiet confidence as I held the bike steady, despite the fact his feet could not reach the ground. And after a few wobbly circuits of the one flat section of road he was away. "I wasn't holding on that time. You did it on your own," I whispered in his ear. He turned and smiled at me with a face radiating pure joy.

We took him to the park to practice on the old basketball courts. He sits so straight and tall in the saddle, bouncing across the grass and crashing sideways when he is ready to dismount. Darcy, more than any of my children, has always been fully present in his body and confident in what it is capable of doing. He will climb higher than anyone else, Lewis included, and needs no reassurance nor reward.  He circled the park, weaving his way through the trees and around the toilet block, and did not want to come home.

For his second birthday we gave Darcy a wooden balance bike. By the age of three he was careening on it down steep hills, his balance perfect and his fear left far behind. All he had to add at four was pedals and brakes. And now he just needs to grow. I think he will be riding to school before the year is through.

Quinn did not go near a bike yesterday - he just wanted to wear his helmet to the park. He didn't want to miss out on all the fun.

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