I seriously can't believe how fast this kid is growing up. 4 months ago he was still wearing pull ups. One year ago he was only speaking in 3-word phrases. Now he's whizzing past me in his new bike yelling back at me, "mom I don't need your help!"
I was going to wait to get him a bike for Christmas, but it just seemed too far away since he has been asking for a bicycle since the summer, which gradually increased to begging come September, and ultimately it broke my heart a little when I saw how devastated he was the day he was the only kid at the bus stop without a bike. We are really not the parents who give into their kids' every demand or latest or impulsive want, especially when these things don't actually promote their intellectual or behavioral growth, are not Eco-friendly, and product of smart/obnoxious 'kid marketing'. Landon knows he cannot just get everything he wants when he wants it. Even in the middle of July, he's satisfied with "let's put it on your Christmas list and ask Santa for it." What I have also come to realize is that it's really not these things they want and it is not ever these things that make them happy (well, beyond 30 minutes) - it is us - it is us they want to spend quality time with them, to talk with and play with and give them our positive, creative, and praising attention. That is where you will find their true happiness, and that is what also promotes the highest level of developmental growth.
So, here we are at the end of September, a few more months til Christmas when I realized the kid can't ride a bike in the winter anyway. So rather than just give into it, we made a fun lil life lesson out of it. I told him we could wait until Santa brought it for Christmas....OR, we could see if he collected enough money in his piggy banks to buy one himself. He ran into his room, carried both his piggy bank and his train bank out to me and said, "I think I have enough for a nice new blue one!" And off we went to the bank to cash in. He watched intently as the teller dumped all of his patiently collected coins into the machine and handed him back $37 dollars. We took that money to a used bike store and bought a $30 (practically) shiny new 14-inch blue Hot Wheels bike, complete with a bell and training wheels. I really wish I got a video of this whole experience because I have never seen Landon so happy in our entire 4 years together. He was absolutely thrilled beyond words.
He confessed he loves his bike more than any of his choo choo trains, more than real trains, and more than The Polar Express train. I've never seen him take such good care of anything either. I am absolutely sure that this is because he waited so long to get it and because he bought it himself out of his own money. Every time I carry it up or down steps he holds onto one of the handle bars and says, "mom, please be careful with my bike and especially my training wheels, I don't want you to ruin them." Every morning when he wakes up he wants to go for a bike ride, first thing. He rides to the bus stop every afternoon with it and he rides after school. He has so much fun riding it, which I absolutely love too because I can actually walk at a normal pace with him. Every day we go out for bike rides around the lake, enjoying the exercise and taking in the beautiful autumn sun and air together. Sometimes we talk- we talk about school and family and friends and the weather and Paw Patrol and choo choo trains and Halloween. And other times he rings his bell at me and tells me with a smile "get out of my way mom!" and pedals off 30 feet ahead of me for some alone time.
Although it's bittersweet to see him like this - there is no denying there's any ounce of baby or toddler left in him - I have never felt more proud of him and I really feel like I am at the happiest and most peaceful point I've ever been in my life with him to date.
& at least I still have one baby left.