So, G. turned five last week. I KNOW. Many of you were around before she was even born– how is that even possible???
Her birthday was lovely and fun, complete with shrimp macaroni & cheese and a frozen yogurt run. She opened family gifts and gushed with delight over such things as cow clips (meant for bags, but destined for her hair) and mandarin oranges. Everything filled her with joy and she spilled out gratitude– those are such wonderful things for a mama to see!
We got her a bike.
She didn’t open it on her birthday, though. We were just so busy and there wasn’t much time and I figured, “you know what? She’s already so excited, why rush her through it all?”
So she opened it at her family party this past Saturday.
She was a mite excited.
Anyway, as I was snapping shots of our happy girl, making her way around the bottom of the driveway, Daddy’s steady hand close-by, I thought… I wonder when other people’s kids get their first “big kid bike”?
I’ll be honest– our first two are not proficient riders. They’ve simply had no real interest and we are apparently utter failures when it comes to teaching bike riding. So I hadn’t really thought too much about it before, other than realizing our kids were definitely on the OLD side of things.
But G.? Well, she’s different. And so, I admit, I wondered. I even pondered posing the question here or on Facebook.
But I’m not. I’m not asking. I don’t even really want you to tell me in the comments.
And this is why–
Though I yearn to hear your stories and love to both celebrate successes and support challenges, it just doesn’t matter at what age your kids do things. It really doesn’t.
I think back to when I’d read that d@mn (sorry– but it’s true) “What to Expect the First Year” book and drive myself flat batty because A. wasn’t doing much of any of those things he was supposed to be doing. I wanted so badly for him to fall in that “your child may even be ____” category that clearly indicated the most gifted babies. That sounds foolish, but of course that’s what I wanted! Most parents want to believe their children are awesomely bright and advanced, I think.
But he didn’t. Because he wasn’t. And, so, I’d gaze upon this beautiful, healthy, wonderful chunky little baby boy and think, “Really? He’s behind? He’s not good enough?”
That was the lie the comparison chart sold me. And I bought it.
It was stupid then and, frankly, it’s stupid now.
So, whether your toddler was flying down the road on a 2-wheeler or your tween still doesn’t really have it down…
It doesn’t matter.
It really doesn’t.
(But doesn’t G. look awfully cute in that unicorn helmet? )