Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Biker Babe

The indecisiveness gene runs rampant in my side of the family much like skin that doesn't tan well, long eyelashes, and the ability to stand on one leg at the kitchen counter while resting the other foot on the inner thigh of the standing leg--just a little trait that I've inherited from my mother and grandma.

Kate has inherited the inability to decide what she wants and so when Mike's mom handed her a wad of cash to buy herself a bike for her 4th birthday present, Kate deliberated long and hard.

Every store we went into for the past month she has tried out the bikes, riding each and every one. In the world of bikes, especially those designed for children, there really isn't much variation, but apparently Kate was holding out for the one that had a massaging seat, a microwave and surround sound.

It wasn't until this past weekend that she finally purchased the bike and that was only becuase after we left church I announced, "Kate, today you are buying your bike." At this point it was like the heavens opened for her declaring it THE DAY to buy one and she exclaimed loudly, "Daddy! Take me to Toys R Us!"

For the 900th time in the past 30 days, she rode each and every bike in the store that was designed for small people. She zoomed around the bike section with ease. I was ready to urge the purchase along when her father who thinks it's perfectly fine to do dangerous activities like fish on a dock with no lifejacket, eat hard candy, and ride BIG bikes when you're 4 years old, said to her, "Hey Kate...look at THAT bike. It's princess and it's BIG. You're a BIG kid and you can ride a BIG bike."

Insert gasps of horror here from my mouth. I protested! She couldn't ride a big bike! She would fall! She would break a bone!

She did though. She zoomed around the bike section like she was on a tricycle. And later, once it was home and put together, she zoomed down our driveway, breaking like an expert.

With her helmet on, her tennis shoe clad feet peddled away from me quickly. She laughed as she rode off laughing at her silly mother who was trying to jog to keep up with her in Birkenstocks.

"Stay to the left!" I cautioned.

"Don't turn too fast!" I warned.

It didn't take much watching to realize that she didn't really need me to bark orders. She was good. My baby was taking off with one more step towards independance.

Today it's riding with training wheels. Down the road it will be riding bikes to Dairy Queen with a friend. Then going to a school dance...then a date...then college.

She is my baby and when she hopped on that bike I realized that although I've known she isn't a baby anymore, she really isn't even a toddler anymore, either. She's a little girl. And she's growing up...too quickly.