First Taste of Freedom

Posted on June 24th, 2011. Eric Roby

My oldest son Vejas just turned 4 years old! For his birthday my wife and I had a long debate on if he was ready for his first bike.  I won and he got an awesome silver bike with a shark face on the front,  an annoying horn on the handlebars and training wheels on the back.

He loves it! Not only does he love riding the bike, but he had his first taste of freedom. On his first ride through the neighborhood we went up the coastal ridge that runs along West Palm Beach’s historic Flamingo Park.  His little legs worked hard to get up the steep Florida hill, but on the way down he was in heaven.  He lifted up his legs to the top bar and screamed like a cowboy on a bucking bull. I too was screaming!  I kept saying. “Put on the breaks!  Put on the breaks!” At the last possible moment before heading into the street Vejas did put on the breaks.  After I had a heart attack and finally caught up to him he said, “Lets do it again!!”

I was hoping he would not tell his mother about our “guy” adventure, but the first thing out of his mouth once inside the house  was, “Mama I went down the big hill.” Mama was not pleased, but Vejas keeps on asking when he can go down the “big” hill again.

My wife suggested we let him ride on the Lake Trail on Palm Beach. Trying to explain bike trail etiquette wasn’t easy.  His idea of being polite is to pass someone by honking his annoying horn 100 times and then sharply cutting them off! The But, the toughest lesson for him was looking forward.  He wants to look at everything around him, including what’s happening behind him. Even after a dramatic fall, we’re still working on it.

It’s a strange feeling as a parent to see your first child ride a bike.  You want them to enjoy it and do it, but you also realize that your relationship with them has just changed.  Your first born now knows that one day he will be able to do everything by himself and he likes it.