Losing the Training Wheels

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Ever notice how it’s the last two of anything that can push things over the edge?  The last two bites of a meal when you’re already getting full make you miserable and pay for overeating.  The last couple words or sentences of a heated discussion cut the most and shift things from argument to full-on fight.  The last couple weeks of pregnancy make your skin feel unbearably tight and sleep feels nonexistent.  The last two hours before bedtime with young kids are by far the hardest of the day.

Even on the flip side, it’s those last few reps of weight lifting that make the muscle fatigue and grow.  It can be the precious last words we say to a loved one that end up meaning the most.  The final attempts at riding the bike without training wheels are obviously the ones where the skill is mastered.

Somewhere, then, there must be a balance or a way to intrinsically “know” when to stop and when to keep going.

Or maybe that skill is learned.  It is quite possibly a lifelong practice that is never fully mastered. It seems we hover between the two extremes and some days the pendulum swings too far over to one side or the other.

It is funny because I had this blog post drafted for a month or more….I do that when I have thoughts and then sometimes I pick one back up when I have time or want to continue it.  When I opened this one, it was this line that stood out:

The final attempts at riding the bike without training wheels are obviously the ones where the skill is mastered.

Because since I drafted that, my 4-year-old daughter asked us to take her training wheels off…and a week later she broke her arm when she took a bad turn.  Still learning, she told her dad to stand back and not hover and down she went.  We really thought it was just a bruise, or a bad sprain maybe.  Even the doctor thought so too but the X-rays showed a different story.  Thankfully, it’s not a bad break and the cast will be off in a few short weeks.

In the meantime, we are making the most of it.  The neighborhood kids came over for cookies and cast-signing on Monday and my daughter is basking in the glory of her battle wound.  She tells random strangers at the store what happened, and asks them to sign her cast too!

Either way you look at it, I am glad to see her enjoy the journey and not just the destination.  She has the rest of her life to continue riding without training wheels.  Sometimes injuries or sickness slow down life a little and make us feel grateful for all we have.

You win some and you lose some.  Judging by the love she feels from her friends and the special treats and experiences, I’d say she definitely won this one.


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