Gabriel in Flight

Not long after the first tentative wobbles and a couple tumbles: and my boy pushed those pedals in a full circle. Then another. And an hour or so later I was watching him shrink into the distance, Gabriel, riding away, without training wheels. And like every parent in that moment, I stood with a lump in my throat thinking of a few seeming hours ago when I stood over him in the nursery. Unlike learning to walk, learning to ride a bike brings with it: SPEED. And distance. There’s no going back once you’ve figured out those puzzles. Oh, and with those new milestones past, how quickly what was fear, then confidence, became arrogance. After I told him how proud I was he said: “Whatever, Papa. It’s not like I’m one. I’m SIX…and now I’m the fastest bike-rider on my block.”

To commemorate this occasion, a poem by Linda Pastan. For now, until I write my own.