That was all she had, 10 glorious, arms in the air, face to the sun, wind in her ears, golden hair streaming behind her, seconds.
Of course, then she wiped out and got a not-so-glorious bruise on her bum.
Sunday afternoon, despite the massive fires in the mountains next to my home the sky was clear and bright. My youngest had just been loaned her first pair of roller blades by a cousin, and was dying to get out on the road with them. She invited me to come outside with her to ride a bike while she bladed to the church parking lot.
We went. And then there was a Hill. Not such a big up, but a pretty steep down. She was SUPPOSED to hold on to the back of the bike on the way down and I would use the brakes to keep her rolling slowly.
It was great for the first little bit, and then she LET GO. Too early. She was so full of confidence and determined to make it the rest of the way on her own. (She’s 10 people, 10! I feel like this will be the theme for the next 10 years or so…)
And, she did. For 10 glorious seconds. And my mama heart squeezed watching her, I knew the likelihood of it ending well was, well, fairly small. I hoped though, she was cruising smoothly, no cracks, no rocks. Then the wobble, the erratic arm waving, a sharp uncontrolled turn and she was down.
I pulled up on the bike and hopped off, going over to her quickly ready to scoop her up and soothe her wounds. But, she didn’t need ME too. After a long minute, she climbed to her wheel clad feet and looked at me. I held my breath, waiting for the wail that I was sure was coming.
But it didn’t. There was a chin wobble, a big breath and then she was ticked.
Ready to take off those blades and walk home in her socks. I looked at my brave daughter and said ” Don’t loose your courage now honey. Just because you fell down doesn’t mean you can’t get back up. If you quit now, you will always regret that you didn’t try again. But, If you keep going, you can do anything.”
And so she did.
She made it up every inch of the down side of that steep hill. Then she grabbed onto the back of the bike and we cruised down the not so big up side of the hill, all the way, until it leveled out.
It was 10 seconds that gave her a taste for more. 10 seconds, she was the queen on the world. My mama heart is squeezing again because it will feel like 10 seconds has passed when I look back on this one day. She won’t make it through with out some scars and hurt, but she will make it.
Go Baby Girl GO! But not too far please and not just yet. It will be too soon that she lets go of my hand, she will be ready though even if I am not.