The girls on the block are busy making a nursery for the toy lizard. Abe is tired of the bickering. He finds the pink bike on the sidewalk and climbs on. He sits there. Feet on pedals. Not moving. I give him a little push from the back. He says to me, "Don't push me, Mom." So I don't. I just tell him to push his feet on the pedals, which he does, but gets blocked by a ridge in the sidewalk. So I break my promise and give him a little nudge forward.
I go back to talking to the other grown-ups. A few minutes later, Abe is slowly slowly slowly creeping down the sidewalk. He's not pushing with his feet on the ground. He's pushing the pedals, propelling himself forward. I try not to draw attention to what he's doing but am finding it hard to resist the urge to cheer loudly, "Look at what my son is doing! Go, Abe, go!" So I go to him and quietly tell him to push harder. And I nudge again the back of the bike.
He picks up speed. At the point, I'm shouting, "Go, Abe! Go, Abe!" Within half an hour, he has gone from inching himself forward to flying so quickly down the street that I have to yell for him to slow down. His face is concentrated: eyebrows lifted high, cheeks sucked in just the tiniest bit into a fish-face. His back is perfectly straight, both arms straight out to the side, elbows at 90 degree angles. Such concentration, just a little nerdy. He gets speed and discovers the fun in taking his feet off the pedals and flying flying flying. Sometimes he sticks his tongue out. Then he notices me watching him, and he lets slip a crooked, shy smile. He is proud. I am proud.
I can't bear it. Every time I see that little sucked-in cheeks fish-face, oh my heart. It's breaking from the love of this boy. This spin on our neighbor's pink bike with training wheels is a first. I got to see it. I got to see it. One of the best moments of my life.