This is my younger stepson… the other half of The Wrecking Crew. He is one half of the reason my wife and I can’t have nice things. Unlike my older stepson, he doesn’t really like riding a bicycle. Well, that isn’t exactly true… he USED to not like riding his bike.
We first started trying to teach him how to ride back in February of this year. His dad was going to be coming down from Dallas to pick the boys up in mid-March and he was hoping he could take both of them riding bikes during their visit with him for Spring Break. We had a solid month, actually more like six weeks to get him riding.
We started with training wheels, “feeling the balance” just like with the older boy and he did get to where he would pedal once or twice but he wasn’t putting all of himself into it. He just didn’t really have the desire to do it. So we bought off of CraigsList, one of those trail-behind bikes to help him get a feel for it plus we figured we could all go riding without having to endure the misery of him deliberately lagging behind in some sort of passive aggressive means of getting out of a little bicycle ride through the neighborhood.
Spring Break was just a week away and I kept trying. I mean, I tried everything I could think of to motivate him to ride but it just wasn’t happening. And it wasn’t that he didn’t know how. I mean I was able to teach him HOW but three or four spins of his pedals and he would he would slow to a crawl, start whining about how his legs hurt or some other BS excuse and he would deliberately fall over.
By the way… an actor this kid will never be. Worst fake falls… EVAH!
So Spring Break came and went, he didn’t take his bike and he came back with still not much interest in riding.
One day he and I were heading to a local garden center and I started talking to him again about riding his bicycle. I said, “you know why I want your to learn how to ride a bike? Do you know what it MEANS to be able to ride a bike? Do you know what it means?”
Quick tangent: I know a lot of parents like to think their kid is smart. They sport those “My Child is ‘Top Notch’ at Underachiever Middle School” bumper stickers right next to their stick figure family sticker with cat and dog included. I am NOT one of those parents. But I’m telling you this kid is pretty damn smart for his age, so when i saw him through the rear view mirror with a blank look on his face and just kind of blinking, it made me want to choke him.
“It means freedom. It’s freedom buddy. Independence! Being able to go wherever you want to go, whenever you want to go.”
“even, Alaska?” I could almost hear the gears turning in his head.
Not sure why this kid has such a fascination with Alaska. Maybe one reason is because he doesn’t do well in the heat. I mean he hates the heat and he knows Alaska is cold. He busts out in a rash if he gets too hot and he sweats pretty quickly and easily when he’s outside playing and messing around. He’s also seen pictures of Alaska and thinks it looks really, really cool. And he just seems almost drawn to it. Hell, I don’t know… maybe part of his fascination might be that his middle name is McKinley. You know like Mount McKinley… in Denali National Park… which is in Alaska. Maybe it’s his destiny. Kinda… like if you have a daughter and decide to name her Destiny. You’re pretty much guaranteeing she’s gonna grow up to be a stripper but that’s for another post.
Anyway, so i tell him, “Well yeah, I guess if you had enough time and enough money to buy food and money to rent a hotel room along the way… sure, you could ride your bicycle to Alaska.
Next day… this was him. April 6th. His first real solo ride. Pretty cool, huh. That is the look of determination dear readers.
I can’t wait to see the pictures he takes of Alaska when he visits some day.