School’s out for summer!
Ooh, I’m all excited. We’ve just begun Mana’s first ever summer holiday break from school and so starts the annual tradition that every kid looks forward to, that heavenly break of six weeks to do with what they please. I don’t know why, but the whole notion just gives me a feeling of nostalgia.
Currently she’s sat behind me at the dinner table, making a robot monster from printed paper, a cereal box, an old tub and various other bits of household wares… Looking at the floor under where she’s sat makes me want to weep, the mess is unbelievable, but so long as she’s happy and entertained, all is fine and no doubt I will have the sheer joy of the aftermath clear up.
So then, because it’s the holidays and one of my most vivid memories of this period, from when I was a kid, was that pretty much every day I was out with my friends riding my bike. I wanted to give Mana the opportunity to engage in the same thing and so last Sunday, off came the stabilizers from her bike and so began her first lesson… and also it turned out to be her last lesson too.
What I did was have her sat on her bike and very gently, I placed my hand around the back of her neck, using my thumb and middle finger as a gauge to show her how to balance. We then took off up and down the car park with me running behind her as the guide. Quickly it dawned on me that she was doing it perfectly well, so I just stopped running and she carried on riding without me. It took just over ten minutes for her to learn to ride a bike – incredible! I was so proud.
As proof of this, may I present the two images above. Just a day separates them. The top was taken on Saturday afternoon and there she is with the stabilizers still attached (with her brother watching on) and the bottom picture was taken the following day. We’ve now been out every day and she’s riding her bike like a real pro and she’s not fallen off once, in fact I now don’t even have to stand with her to keep a watchful eye out for passing traffic as she has that sorted too. Well, there you go then, she’s achieved and mastered another little life skill, and it’s a skill that will always be with her.
Speaking of the holidays, something that we planned for Mana didn’t quite go the way we thought it may. One of the local churches provides a free holiday club and we thought that it may be nice for Mana to join in and make new friends in the process. However, when we came to pick her up at the end of the first day, we could see that she wasn’t happy. She did not, in no uncertain terms, ever want to go there again. Why? ‘It’s too noisy with all their drum banging and they keep talking about God and Jesus, but they’re not real and it’s soooo boring!’ Or words to that effect was her reply.
Had I known that they’d be bible bashing as part of the deal, I wouldn’t have even entertained the idea of sending her there. Look, I don’t mind her learning about religions, that’s fine by me, but they weren’t being taught, they were being preached at and I suspect that part of the point of this club is to recruit new members by stealth under the pretext of this being a holiday club. Oh well, you live and learn. At least she tried it and made her own choice to not return, mind you, by not going, she’s had more time to exercise her new skill of riding her bike – which she absolutely loves!