It’s a right of passage. The two-wheeler. It’s the first glimmer of pure independence. That moment when the rubber meets the road and your child takes off, without your supportive hand on their back.
It’s euphoric. It’s metaphoric. It’s a moment you’ll never forget.
Especially when a meticulously crafted mom-bribe is the fuel for this very scrapbook-worthy fire.
The summer after he turned four, we took the training wheels off Oliver’s bike. Then we set it in the garage for a full calendar year while he fumed over this grave injustice. Then finally, as the days began to grow longer this past spring, our first-born son found the courage to wheel his orange Dusty Crophopper bicycle into the light and start practicing.
As with any new skill, I assured him that this too, would take lots of practice. But after falling several times on our aggregate driveway, Ollie and his bloodied knees were ready to throw in the towel.
That is, until his mom ponied up.
But this couldn’t be any ordinary “Stop-fighting-with-your-brother-in-church-right-now-and-I-will-give-you-gummi-bears!” type bribe. This bribe had to be thoughtful. Imaginative. Effective.
“If you ride your bike across the driveway two times, I will moon your father.”
And I’ll be damned if my five-year-old son didn’t learn how to ride his bike that very afternoon. On our scary-old aggregate driveway, that (pardon the pun) abuts our neighbors backyard.
So while my child caught his first glimpse of independence, our neighbors caught their first (and hopefully last) glimpse of my milky, white der·ri·ère.
I’d like to be so bold, as to call it a win-win.