Dear Jo: Losing Balance

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July 17, 3 years A.B. (after-baby)

Dear Jo,

The doctor said there were no restrictions. He said to proceed with life as usual. You trusted him.

Emerson saw the balance bike in the garage and asked to try it.

“Sure!” you said. It wasn’t until you strapped on his helmet that you wondered if riding a bike was something he should do right now. What if he had one of his absence seizures, while on the bike? But the doctor said there were no restrictions.

Dear Jo: Losing Balance

You carried the bike to the slope in the side yard.

“Sit down and use your feet to start going. Then lift your feet and you’ll coast down the hill.”

You could see in his eyes hesitation mixed with determination. He sat at the top of the slope.

“Do you know what to do?”

“Mmm hmm.”

And still he sat.

“Do you want me to give you a little push to get going?”

“Huh uh.”

After a few more minutes, he began to scoot his feet along the ground. He started slowly and as he began to descend, you said, “That’s it! Now pick up your feet!”

He raised them a few inches and then put them back to the ground.

“It’s okay! Just lift them up!”

By then he had made it to the bottom of the hill. He turned back and looked at you with a big grin.

“Nice job, buddy! Let’s try it again. This time, lift your feet.”

He rolled his bike to the top of the hill and did it again and again and again, each time finding a bit more bravery and lifting his feet slightly higher until he coasted from top to bottom with feet held high.

“You did it! You balanced it the whole way down!”

You celebrated, cheered and watched him practice again and and again until you heard Lyla begin to fuss on the baby monitor.

When Paul got home, Emerson wanted to show him what he had learned. He went down a few times before it happened. Paul had even asked you if he should be doing that, but you reminded him that the doctor said no restrictions.

It was on the third attempt that he fell. He started fine, but then the bike began to wobble and seconds later, he was on the ground, crying and holding a skinned knee. You don’t know what happened. He doesn’t know what happened. Maybe he hit a stick. Maybe there was a hidden hole. Or maybe he spaced out.

You carried him inside, bandaged his knee and tried to reassure him that falling is part of the learning experience.

“Can I try again tomorrow?” he asked.

“Sure,” you said, but you hoped for rain or some sort of distraction, something to pull his attention away from wanting to ride the bike. At least for now.

Dear Jo: A {fictional} Diary of a Modern Mom“Dear Jo: A Diary of a Modern Mom” is a serial fiction story written by Meagan Church. Stay tuned for the next diary entry of one mom’s attempt to chronicle what she has been told are the days she shouldn’t forget…spit-up, tantrums, milestones and all. Visit the Dear Jo page to catch up on the already-published entries. And, be sure to subscribe today, so you don’t miss a single installment:


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{Photo credit: ©Petr Bonek –}










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