It is a right of passage. It usually happens when you are about 6 or 7. Whether it is a birthday or Christmas gift,you get a bike. Mom or Dad takes you outside, holds on to the back and within a short time, you have a newfound freedom. Autism Boy is like all neuro-typical kids. At 6, Santa brought him a bike and it sat. He simply wasn’t ready.
Well, Santa paid another visit 1 1/2 years ago and brought him a new bike. This bright, shiny red object has been the bane of my existence. It has caused more heartache than anyone ever intended. On Christmas day, we faced cold temps and tried. In fact, we tried all the time. Well, I finally quit. My arms are just not strong enough to hold Autism Boy in all of his 5’6″ frame and the bike. So I walked away a few weekends ago and decided to mow the lawn and just let Autism Boy do his thing with the bike. Well, lo and behold the boy did it. He rode the bike. My excitement could not be contained.
That week, I had been bombarded with social media posts and videos of my young nephew riding his two-wheeler at a very young age. And of course everyone was proud and as parents do, we compare. I felt awful. I know Autism Boy is awesome and so is his cousin. His cousin was rocking it on the bike. I’m really proud of him, but I felt the ugly rear of a jealous spirit. I wanted the same for Autism Boy. But Autism Boy taught me to never stop believing. He never gave up. In fact, when he saw his younger cousin riding, it inspired him to overcome his fear and he accomplished riding a bike. Both of these accomplishments are great but not everyone saw it that way. I got a lot of backlash that he didn’t have the skill before now.
Everyone develops at his or her own pace. It can be hard to see our kids lagging behind but we need to praise them just the same when they do get it, no matter how old they are.