It was a fun and poignant sight. Our youngest son and his 5 yr. old daughter had a plan. Today was the day that he would remove the training wheels from her pink bike. He held the back of the seat as she wobbled down the driveway and out into the street. Aimed in the right direction they headed off. She pedaling, concentrating, trying to get the feel of balance, he trotting along beside ready to catch the weaving frame. They turned around at the end of the street and headed back. I plopped my chair at the end of the driveway to watch the progress. After what must have been miles and miles of back and forth, he was soon just running alongside. No hands! The idea of balance had "clicked" under that helmet and she was a pedaling success. My "job" was to clap whole-heartedly each time they passed my perch at the end of the driveway. She beamed brighter each time she rode by, so proud of her new ability. Soon she'll be out there racing up and down that street without him being near at all.
When this same boy entered college a few years back I remember revealing a similar plan. I would buy the house across the street from the "frat house", plop my folding chair in the front yard and just watch him come and go. He protested...."Mom, that is called stalking, and it's illegal!" Maybe it is, but what mom hasn't thought of that same position. Then and now I had to learn to keep my distance. There comes a time when the training wheels have to come off. I could "run along beside" occasionally but no touching. He had to learn to do life accompanied by the scrapes and bruises it brings. He came through the process just fine! And I still have the position of cheering, clapping and encouraging as he passes by. It's called "cheering from the stands". It might be a little restrictive, but it is simply a grand place to be. The view offered from being seated a little higher up on the bleachers of time is priceless.
He is now a fine young man, loving husband and terrific daddy. He's still pedaling and he gets hurt now and then, but each spill makes him stronger and kinder and wiser. He is highly respected in his field and his community. I count him as one of my closest and best advisers on a myriad of subjects. Funny how that works.