Chasing a girl on a bike down a hill

It was like a scene from a movie. We were having a family evening at the park, I was pushing our little guy on his trike, and my husband was getting our four-year-old helmeted up and ready to ride her bike. It’s been a summer filled with trips to the pool, learning to be a fish. Most days it was too hot to go to the park and ride her bike. She hadn’t gone for a cruise on her cool Princess two-wheeler in a while.

Then there was that moment. That slo-motion, watching-in-horror moment that freezes you.

My husband and daughter caught up to us quickly, with him on his skateboard (where he sometimes hitches a ride like Marty in BACK TO THE FUTURE) and she on her bike. They got ahead of us quickly, cruising side by side. I only looked away for a moment. When I looked back, I saw my husband disappear full-speed down a steep grassy hill, running like mad. My daughter was nowhere to be seen. As my son and I hurried down the path to where they had last been seen, I watched as my husband sprinted after our daughter as she bombed down the hill, holding tight, feet no longer on the pedals. She was heading full-speed towards a very large, very sturdy tree, and picking up speed.

All ended well, but that was a close call.

As we explained (once again) how the brakes on her bike worked, I looked closely at her face. I quickly noticed that there wasn’t any fear . . . only excitement. She had absolutely no idea that she was about to crash head-first into a tree (and possibly inadvertently aiming straight for it). She didn’t see the panic/relief on her father’s face, didn’t know that he was about to kick off his shoes (loosely laced Converse) so that he could run even faster, and was even contemplating diving to catch her as the tree approached. All she knew was that she went fast, really, really fast, down a steep grassy hill!

That was when the panic in her mother’s face set in. How am I supposed to catch her as she plummets into life? How can I warn her about the “trees” without killing the excitement of going fast? Because let’s be honest…going fast is the best part!

Our fearless little girl is about to turn five. She started preschool this year, and I want so badly to slow down time. But that’s not an option. So for now, we run full-speed to catch her, to keep her safe, and protected. But we let her explore, we let her go fast, and we let her learn. All this in hope that the lessons along the way come together, and she can learn to slow down, or at least go around the trees.

My review this week is Crab Cab (Flip-A-Word Series) by Harriet ZiefertYukiko Kido

Crab Cab

This is an amazing book for teaching early readers to sound out words. The book is divided into three word families, -ab, -ot, and -it. Each page is either divided in half or has a peeking hole to foreshadow the next word. The best part was that after only one reading, my four-year-old could sound out/read the entire book by herself! The second best part was found in the “-ot” family and featured a witch blowing her nose into a cauldron . . . the “Snot Pot.” My two kids loved this book! Early reader books are abundant, but this one was a definite success. And we are going to go on the hunt for more on our next trip to the library.


10 thoughts on “Chasing a girl on a bike down a hill

  1. A well described challenge faced by parents – how to protect without stifling the wonderful excitement that life has to offer to a child, that they access in a way adults have lost sight of. As we get older our minds go so naturally to all that can go wrong. I realized this when staying with my granddaughter at a crucial stage in her language development – all of a sudden she comes out with the word – dangerous. Her first 3 syllable word – one I had said so many times she caught on to how to say it, too. No easy answers – best wishes for a wild ride is about all I can offer.

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  2. I remember all too well barreling down our street when I was 5…with my dad running behind me as I forgot what brakes were. It’s nice to read what that moment may have been like for my parents!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This is so funny! Would you believe my daughter did the exact same thing (aged 5) – except she was heading towards a bungalow; with a rather horrified-looking elderly couple in their garden room!! Somehow, she manged to swerve (her trike!) at the very last minute… into some tomato plants!! A day I will never forget! She’s 14 now – and can legally ride a moped. Shhh! Don’t tell her, please!😂

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    1. I’m finding that this is NOT a rare occurrence ha, ha! I think it’s just a precursor of things to come in life . . . so many trees, parked cars, tomato plants, and bungalows to swerve or crash into!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. funny story I actually did this and fell off … A tricycle…. and still have the scar on my knees to show for it…. wrote about the experience on a blog post.
      we fall we get up I guess, learning curves..

      Liked by 2 people

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