Sunday, February 15, 2009

Riding Tandem

My Dearest Not-So-Little Esmé,

You’re on your first bike. No training wheels, of course. You’ve got your Papa to keep you upright.

At 22 months, you barely reach the downstroke pedal with your tippy toes. And you hit the back pedal brake as much as you pedal forward.

I think you’re a bit young to be riding, but I know better than to interfere. You’ve proven that with your Papa, you’re capable of anything, from sitting on a moving skateboard at 3 months to solo boarding down a long, long ramp to entertain your 1st-birthday crowd.

I think back to my first bike, a used but functional blue specimen I got when I was around 8. Getting my balance was tough. Smooth sailing once I got that downpat, right?

But I quickly realized I also needed to steer around obstacles when I made slow contact with a giant pine tree in our front yard.

I figured out how to go straight, and off I pedaled down the sidewalk, hair flying in the wind! Magic! Until I got to the end of the block and realized I didn’t know how to brake. I still remember the panic in the driver’s face as a car screeched to a halt just in time.

When I felt comfortable with all the necessary skills, I developed my favorite route. I’d break through the snowflower border bushes, spraying minute white petals everywhere, into the churchyard next door, then down the churchyard slope at top speeds, onto the sidewalk and back into our yard. The lawn soon began to show evidence of my great skill.

Until the front tire of the bike met a misplaced root on that downward slope and came to an abrupt stop. I crashed into the handlebars and landed on the ground. I couldn’t breathe. I thought for sure I was dying.

I didn’t die, and I got back on that bike again.

Esmé, I watch you ride round and round the house, dolly ensconced between the handlebars, and smile at your sweet giggles. And I think that your Papa won’t always be around to keep you upright.

You will experience obstacles that you need to steer around in order to reach your dreams.

You will barely miss oncoming vehicles and be grateful to be alive.

You will fall and even think you are dying, wondering whether you can go on.

Baby girl, not-so-baby-anymore girl, your Papa may not be there, but you do have a Father who always will be.

Let Him ride tandem. He’ll do all the work when the hills get high. He’ll guide you through the obstacle course called life. He’ll create an invisible barrier between you and oncoming danger. And when you do fall, He’ll cry with you and then gently pick you back up.

Ride with God, my not-so-little girl.

With love,

Mommy

---------------
This post has been entered into Scribbit's February Write Away contest.

46 comments:

sheila said...

Oh my gosh, how sweet. beautiful post!

Elizabeth said...

was she seriously able to push the pedals enough to go?

soooo adorable!

Jennifer said...

I love how you are able to translate Michelle's topics into something so wonderful!

♥ Somebody Loved ♥ said...

What a beautiful message to your daughter. Love this post.

I was alot older than MisS Esmé when I started to balance like 3x older at least... and then I crashed.

Esmé, don't let any older boys in the neighborhood talk you out of your tiny bike because they think it is cute... that happened to me and they broke my bike in half doing wheelies.

ToOdLeS.ShEiLa

Z's Mom said...

What a sweet post!!!

perilloparodies said...

So precious! Something from the heart, and memorable... She will treasure it. :-)

Vicki said...

Your post made me tear up!! What a wonderful message to your daughter.

She is adorable and WOW!!! Riding a bike at 22 months. Amazing!

Debra said...

Ride with God...bestest counsel ever! Love this post! Hugs to you, Esme!

Sandra said...

Such a sweet post :)

Prasti said...

this made me tear up! beautiful words. i know it brings me great comfort to know that even though we may not always be around to help our children, God will always be there to see them through.

Danielle said...

wow. she is awesome!

Jennifer said...

Absolutely beautiful! Thank you for sharing this moving letter to your daughter. May we all learn form it.

Damselfly said...

What an incredible girl! And what a sweet post.

Tabitha ~ Uplifting said...

She's so cute!

Andrea said...

That is SUCH a great and meaningful letter for your daughter...hope she'll treasure it forever! :)

Pamela said...

thats riding very young. wow.

Pamela said...

ps. lovely lovely post, too

CC said...

Wonderful post and letter! I love it!

PS: my kids started on no-pedal bikes at 2-3 years old and had their balance down at an extremely young age! ;)

Jen @ One Moms World said...

What sweet memories... and what a big girl she is on that bike!! Love it.

bernthis said...

22 months and riding. Oh Lordy, I better get a real bike for my kid pronto. She is woefully behind.

Kazzy said...

My kids were sooo slow in the riding a bike department. Actually, they were slower walkers too. But they are smart kids now... really. LOL

GigiSxm said...

I watched the skating videos on you tube, this child has amazing balance!

dani said...

i love this, j:)
did she REALLY get the hang of it; is she able to ride on her own (i see that h did let go)??? she is one amazing little girl:D
love,
dani

Scribbit said...

What a beautiful metaphor! It's just perfect--and she may be small but I love the look of those tiny legs trying to pump those pedals.

White Hot Magik said...

Wow! Excellent post.

Ishtar said...

That was beautiful!
Greetings from Niger,
Esther

Chas said...

What a beautiful post. I do think my eyes teared up a bit. Congratulations on your win.

Jennifer said...

Congratulations Esme! You have entered so many times and each month I think it will be your chance to win and now it is! I am really looking forward to seeing how you use the gift certificate!

One Mom said...

CONGRATULATIONS on winning Scribbit's Write-Away contest! I'm just so thrilled for you :) I bet you and Esme can do a great happy dance!

perilloparodies said...

Congratulations on YOUR WIN!!! You deserved it!!! loved this post! :-)

Hugs,
Celita

http://daysease.blogspot.com/

Carol @SheLives said...

Beautifully written! Congratulations!

Jordan (MamaBlogga) said...

Congratulations! Great job!

Sucharita Sarkar said...

You have transformed a simple act of adventure into a lovely moral fable. Congratulations.

tjhirst said...

Love your analogy. Congratulations.

Alice Wills Gold said...

Congrats on your writing win! This was a great mommy message.

ShackelMom said...

Congratulations! I love it! So nice that won!

Jolanthe @ No Ordinary Moments said...

congrats on your win!! :)

Amelia said...

What a sweet, precious post! Congrats on your win!!

ShabbyInTheCity said...

Ahhh!! I should have seen where you were going with it...now hitting myself saying "why didn't I think of that" LOL.
Congratulations on the win!

Carrie said...

Congratulations on winning the Write-Away contest! I enjoy your blog & I appreciate that you comment on mine sometimes, too! :) Wonderful post! :)

Natural Mommie said...

It's no wonder you won. Beautiful. Congratulations!

Lori said...

Congrats on winning the contest! Such a sweet, strong girl you have!

Deb said...

Your little one is darling and this was such a sweet story. Life never seems to run out of speed bumps and detours to navigate over and around.

Dan said...

Great story so well written. Seems like we all remember someone giving us that helping hand no matter when we learned to ride. Congratulations.

Stephanie and Co. said...

Congrats on your win.
That was a really sweet letter to your daughter. I like the intertwining of your first bike and her's and your wonderful metaphor.

auntie ann said...

Hey Esme! I just saw that you were the great winner of the new bicycle. Have you picked it out yet? Oh, i guess your Mommy had something to do with it as well, so maybe she can pick out the bicyle and you can ride with her.... I was happy reading it!