The things Quinn is good at he is very good at. He reads at at least a sixth grade level, his geography is better than that of most adults I know (myself included some days), he's gotten off to a strong start on piano....
|Quinn at his first piano recital two weeks ago|
The problem is that when something doesn't come easily, or at least doesn't present a clear path to success, he gets droopy and depressed about it. On the rare occasions Quinn has a meltdown or can't be reasoned with I have to remind myself that he's acting his age. Most people use that phrase to suggest to someone they need act more mature, but Quinn has always seemed much older than he is, so when he reverts to childish behavior I have to remember he really is just a child and let him be.
He was initially worried about failing on the bike. However, his sisters have so much fun biking around the neighborhood, and I know he'd rather bike with us to school in the fall than keep riding in the trailer, that I wasn't too surprised that despite his concerns he decided to give it a go. And like with most things, once Quinn got it in his head he was determined.
One of the girls' old bikes seemed the right size, so we started out by my running him up and down the alley a few times while he pedaled and laughed but I tired quickly and declared it was time for bed. The next day Ian removed the pedals so that maybe Quinn could get used to pushing himself along and practicing just the balance part of it, but Quinn hated that for several reasons and the next day Ian put the pedals back on.
So I didn't think Quinn had had all that much time on the bike when he asked me last Sunday if he could practice in the alley. I told him to go ahead and get the bike out of the garage and put on his new helmet and I'd find my running shoes and meet him in a minute. By the time I got out there he was zipping past me in the alley all by himself.
And that was that.
He's still a tad wobbly and he has trouble starting off, but the boy can ride a bike! Now he goes around the block again and again. He's had a couple of minor wipe outs, but he's been brave about them. He's a dignified little fellow.
The plan is to work on endurance for the fall so he can handle the hills and ruts on the mile and a half route to school. And of course there is the bike decorating contest on 4th of July. (Although the coaster category worked out so well for him last year he might consider going that way again.) Many possibilities have suddenly opened up now that my youngest child is six.
In the scheme of things I know six does not sound old. Six is adorable and sweet and I love my little guy at six, but age six on your last baby is impossibly grown up.
Quinn is still small enough to just fit in my lap, he still wraps his arms around my neck at every opportunity, and he's still my baby on some level forever. He told me when I tucked him in the other night and teased him about growing up too fast, that I could call him my baby for as long as I liked, but that he was going to keep growing.
As we wind up the last few days of school and I realize my kids will be heading into sixth, fourth, and first grades next year, I'm trying not to feel panicked about how quickly it's all going. I confront reminders of their tinier selves around every corner anymore and it's hitting me hard lately. I'm not sure why.
And they're feeling it, too. I hug them tightly as if I can compress them back into babies, and they let me, saying they want to stay with me forever. I'm fascinated and excited about the people they are becoming, but it's hard to say goodbye to the people they've been. I want to laugh and cry at the same time because it's so bittersweet.
|My kids they way they are.|
|My kids the way I tend to still think of them.|
And in some ways it feels like it can all be summed up in the fact that now Quinn can bike.