Friday, February 8, 2008

Happiness Is... Being Big

My first bike was a little gold two-wheeler with training wheels. I rode it up and down the sidewalk in front of our house in Blanding, Utah. I was five and I thought I was finally "big". Big is what you want to be when you are little. Everyone towers over you, everyone gets to stay up later than you, everyone gets to go to school except you. Because they are big and you are little. I have a brother two years older than me. He was always bigger. He had been riding a bike for ages. Now I had arrived. Except he got to ride past the end of the block, and he didn't have training wheels. So, I wasn't "big" after all. I was sure I was ready to take off the training wheels. I needed to prove myself ready for the world of "big". I begged my dad to take them off. He put me off. Two days on training wheels didn't mean I was ready for the next step. I was so sure I could ride that bike without the training wheels-- and I was very persistant and probably very annoying. Finally, my dad got out his toolbox and told me to bring my bike up the driveway. After the training wheels were cast aside, I took my bike back to the sidewalk, swung my leg over and put feet to pedals. The bike wobbled, and started forward and then I crashed onto the sidewalk. What was this!? Wasn't I big? I stood up and looked at my bloody hands and knees. I was a resiliant child. This wasn't going to deter me in my quest for "big". I got back on the bike and tried again. My dad came over to me from the yard where he had been watching. He is 6 foot 5. And he bent way over and held the back of the seat of my tiny bike. He said, "Let me help you balance as you get started, then you can do it." He ran after me and I didn't even realize he had let go. I felt secure so I pedaled away. Suddenly I realized I was riding my bike! Without training wheels! I was BIG! And then I crashed. My dad was right there to pick me up and exult with me in my triumph. "Look how far you went! You can do it!" I found out that day that the only way to get from little to big, is to have someone who loves you keep you steady, and pick you up when you fall. And cheer you on.

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