There’s something about witnessing your oldest child ask his father, “Daddy, can you take the training wheels off my bike? I’m ready to try riding like a big boy” which tugs at your heart strings….
… and makes you gasp each time it looks like he’s going to fall, only to hear him reassure you, “Mommy, I’m fine!”
Tears threaten to blur your vision as he pedals further and further away from you…a cruel metaphor for what the future holds, as a brief vision of him exchanging wedding vows someday with the woman he loves invades your thoughts.
Instinctively, you want to run after him and tell him to slow down before he gets hurt…
But then, just as quickly, he heads back towards you, with a huge smile on his face….much to your relief.
“Mommy, I did it..I did it all by myself! Aren’t you so happy? I’m riding my bike like a big boy!” he yells, his voice overflowing with excitement and pride.
This milestone, like many others, forces you to tell a little white lie.
Painfully smiling through your tears, you respond, “Yes, I’m so happy for you! You’re really growing up, aren’t you?”
Suddenly, your thoughts take you back to a time not so long ago when it was YOU having to console HIM when he insisted on staying little forever.
You continue watching him pedal faster and faster, the wind whipping past him as he laughs out loud, feeling empowered by this new freedom and sense of accomplishment…
Just then a warm breeze dances by and begins to dry the tears which have long since rolled down your cheeks, leaving trails of salty sweetness as evidence of your anguish.
And you’re reminded of a quote you once heard…
Don’t count the years….count the memories (author unknown)