My son, Tommy turned 3 in May of 2012 and we had an incredible vintage train party planned and styled by Oh Goodie Designs. We were on an actual vintage train dining car and the kids could climb in and around a real caboose and engine. My husband and I were so excited to give him his “big boy” bike as his gift and we wheeled it onto the dining car, where we proudly sat it in the corner.
Since May I have tried no less than 100 times to get Tommy interested in learning to ride his bike. I’ve tried every approach: getting excited, trying to be cool and low key, offering a treat to try to ride, offering a treat to sit on it…you name it, I tried it. He had no interest…until January of 2013. He hoped on his bike and started riding…without help from me.
As he rode and I walked behind him, he asked me, “Mom, was this bike from my train party?”
Me: “Yes. It was your gift from Mommy and Daddy”
Tommy: “Oh, I thought it was decoration from JoJo” (JoJo is what my kids call Jo Anne, my sister who owns Oh Goodie Designs)
I had to chuckle that, in his young mind, it was a possibility that a really cool bike could be used as a prop at a party. It helped that I was chuckling because as he rode a few feet ahead of me, his younger brother followed on his inherited tricycle and this was the first time that I did not have to be hands on help with either kiddo riding a bike. This was a huge milestone in our family and I could have cried. It was bittersweet.
I’m not sure what the lesson is in this story. It helped me remember that Tommy, like most children, has a reason for everything he does or does not do. In his mind, this bike was one of JoJo’s props and he was showing respect. The lesson could be a reminder of how quickly time passes and before you know it, your kids don’t need as much from you as they the did the day prior. Or, the lesson could be the importance of being in the moment to be able to witness these special moments that make you laugh and cry.
Have a happy week–
Janel Perez, M.S., L.P.C.