It occurs to me that I've written a lot here about riding bikes lately. Maybe that is because it has become a very big part of our family identity and maybe it is because I continue to be thrilled each and every time I go for a ride with my kids -- Oliver in particular. It is also a little bit because everyday I appreciate that I can share this thing that I love with my boys. I don't take that for granted.
One thing in particular that blows me away each and every time we ride is how it highlights Oliver's abilities. I spend too much time thinking about dis-ability and our daily rides have become a powerful reminder that there is so much my boy can and will do in this life. For example, Nik and I communicate to the boys while riding using lots and lots of gestures: over here, go that way, turn here, get up on the sidewalk, ride on the street, come this way, stop, go, go slow, stay steady. ... it is endless and varied and amazing that Oliver flawlessly reads our non-verbal communication. Watching his ability to shift focus between the road ahead and his riding partner, making adjustments along the way, makes me endlessly proud. Incidentally, both of these things -- maintaining coordination with a partner and reading non-verbal communication -- are RDI learning objectives that we have worked on, they didn't come naturally or easily for my boy. But now they are like second nature. How cool is that?
I've been teaching a friend's child to ride, just a little bit each week, and wanted to post a video showing what it looks like when a child is just starting with the gliding technique. I got several comments and e-mails after my last post from parents whose kids were not gung ho about learning. The boy in this video is really very anxious about getting on the bike. He likes it a bit more since we took the pedals off-- at least he is willing to get on the bike -- but declares he is walking the bike, not riding, which I think makes him feel more confident. No matter -- he is still out there, still trying and I know he will get it eventually. The other boys demonstrate the gliding technique, which I included to show you how much fun this can be!