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Roller Girl

Our street is not conducive to teaching your children how to ride a bike.  And that is the excuse that I’ve been using so that I have a perfectly good reason why my 8 year old cannot ride her bike without training wheels.

It has nothing to do with the fact that the last time I climbed aboard a bike, I took out an innocent mailbox.

About 6 months ago, I removed the training wheels in an effort to stimulate the desire of an 8 year old to ride a two wheeled bike.  And for 6 months, Cailey has been begging me to put them back on.

It’s not that she’s fearful of balancing on two wheels.  She is rather fearless, that one.  It’s just that she can no longer go screaming down the street with her feet propped up on the handle bars.

Since I had thrown the training wheels into the garbage, the likelihood of them returning to the bike was not good.  And so I’ve been working with her, encouraging her in the idea that no respectable 8 year old still has training wheels.

But the two wheel balancing act simply hadn’t taken.  I’ve aided her in balance, I’ve whispered words of encouragement, and have even run along side of her, keeping her from crashing into the pavement.

I run only when being chased.  Running is not something that I voluntarily engage in.

One day, while my head was stuck in the fridge evaluating my snacking options, Fiddledaddy thought he would work with Cailey and her pink princess bike.

I wandered outside a short while later only to see Cailey whizzing by me.  On her bike.  Unaided.  Strawberry blonde hair blowing in the breeze.  Bugs in her teeth.


Six months of semi-intensive training by me = no progress.  Five minutes with Fiddledaddy and she’s flying down the street on two wheels.

The only problem was that she didn’t learn how to brake and/or turn.  So she celebrated her newfound bicycle freedom by mowing her little brother down.

He was undaunted, and continued to taunt, torment, and generally chase her.


Now that she has mastered two wheels, she’s looking ahead to her next accomplishment.

Cailey has had Christmas and Birthday money burning a hole in her pocket.  So this weekend we went shopping at Sports Authority.  Emme had been saving long and hard for a new pair of Heelies.  But Cailey set her sights on some Roller Derby Boot Skates.  With a purple toe stop and bright purple wheels.

As a product of the 70’s roller skating rink, it was a proud parenting moment.  I gingerly caressed the ball bearing wheels and fondly recalled my first pair of boot skates.  They were white with blue wheels.  And came in a groovy red/white/and blue skate case.  If I were to close my eyes, I could still smell the faux leather whenever I opened the case.

Excitedly, I told her of matching pompoms to adorn her skates, and cool sweatbands and leg warmers.

She cocked her blonde head to the side, and skated off on the carpeted Sports Authority flooring.  Nearly taking down an end cap or three.

I sighed happily.  She has inherited my sense of grace as well.

The skates weren’t purchased just yet.  But I’ve made a promise to take her to the roller skating rink and show her my old moves.

Which I’m sure to immediately recall.  After 30 some-odd years.  After all, it’s just like riding a bike, no?

10 Responses to Roller Girl

  • We await your ER post with baited breath…….you know-from your return to the rink,after 30 some-odd years…

  • Like riding a bike? Don’t count on it.

    I’m a lot older than you, and therefore should be a lot wiser. Not so.

    As a teenager, I loved to skate. Visited the local roller rink as often as I could. I had the skates, the pompoms, the case, the cute matching skating outfit. I could do it all.

    So a few years ago, I decided to get my granddaughter skates – and I got myself a pair too. I put them on in the house, just to try them out. Went into the kitchen on the ceramic tile floor and promptly ended up on my face, with my right foot at an odd angle from my leg. Turns out I didn’t break the ankle but had a nasty sprain that required the use of crutches for a while.

    Yes, my skates went back to the store the next day. Granddaughter tried her skates outside and fell and broke her arm. I guess the two of us are not destined to spend our lives on wheels.

  • I will never forget being about 8 and my Dad is going to “show” me how to ride the skateboard he bought for me. He leaped on and the board immediately went flying down the street… without him. He lay right there on his back for the longest time…I thought for sure he was dead…Trauma…I tell you… trauma!

  • Wear padding and invite some friends who haven’t smiled in a while. Heck, if you weren’t 9 hours away, I would come to watch!

  • Oh, I am sure there would be no problem-NO PROBLEM-if you decided to resurrect your skating abilities all these years later. Kind of like my attempt at scooter riding last year that was supposed to be SO SAFE. You know the old adage for good luck, “Break a leg”? Don’t. 🙂

  • My son did not learn to ride without training wheels until he was 9, and that only after his 6 year old sister was about to figure it out before him. I’ doing the balance bike thing with the other 2!

  • Oh the magic of Daddy! This is why having two parents is good. Mom can spend every waking moment for MONTHS working on a new skill, Daddy stops by for 5 minutes and PRESTO! Mission accomplished! Grrrrrr. Not that I’m bitter or anything. I just wish I could find that magic wand….

  • Tell us when you’re going so we can have prayer for you.

  • I suppose I’ll fess up and tell you that my youngest didn’t learn to ride a two-wheeler until she was 9 (almost 10), and my 13 year old STILL hasn’t learned. I have failed as a parent! Besides, who made up that stupid rule that kids HAVE to learn how to ride a two-wheeler? We even tried shipping her off to friends to try to teach her. No luck. She just doesn’t care to learn.

  • Your comment about the legwarmers reminded me that my 6 year old niece got a pair for Christmas. Who knew they started making them again?