A few years ago I was at a function with a not-for-profit organisation whose committee I was on. A mum was telling me about how her daughter had just started riding a bike and how thrilling it was for her and the family. I asked how old she was and her mum replied, ‘sixteen’.
I think Oscar was about three at the time and it was just one of those conversations that act like a kick in the guts. I could not imagine how they had endured so long at pursuing such a goal.
And today, here I am.
This afternoon I watched my 12 year old son (finally) get his leg over a bike.
I helped his physio secure his feet inside the pedal grips.
And I watched him push the pedals on that bike on his own for the first time ever.
In his life.
My eyes may have been a little moist.
He has always always wanted to ride a bike. We even bought him one years ago and watched as he tried so hard to work out how to pedal.
And watched as Felix just took off on his.
And watched that bike rust in the garage as the training wheels came off Felix’s.
There was not the muscle tone. The coordination. The flexibility through his ankles, particularly the left, to enable Oscar to ride a bike, no matter his volition.
This surgery has given Oscar the flexibility through the ankle joints to be able to pedal properly. I think being older, bigger and all the rehab he’s been doing have also contributed.
The bike is modified so the back wheel is a fixed wheel (or some such) which means the bike won’t glide along if he stops pedalling, it will just stop. I mean, on a level surface of course. It has training wheels and strap thingys on the pedals to keep his feet in place. It is not perfect and in fact his physio didn’t want him to have the one he tried out this afternoon, wanting to find a better one for him that we could take home. Next week.
Oh the tears.
Oh the refusing to get.off.the.bike.
We are using this bike ‘just for this week’.
So today, my son, my Ogga boy started riding a bike.
And I’m just as proud as punch.