So right now, as I write this, I am outside on this beautiful New England fall day watching my proud Sweetie enjoy herself to the hilt as she rides her new, bigger bike WITHOUT TRAINING WHEELS! Wow! That's right! I can hardly believe it!
Yesterday we were given this bike by a family at church whose older daughter has outgrown it. No training wheels attached. We tried to attach the wheels from Sweetie's old bike, but quickly saw that she relied too much on these too small "helper" wheels, making the riding experience actually dangerous. She'd have to just go out there & learn. Just do it!
So after angrily debating with Hubby about how these lesson should continue after the one miserable loop he did with her while hanging on to Sweetie as she rode, we noticed something... Sweetie was on her bike & had just successfully pedaled herself a short distance. Wow! Do that again! Now see if you can go farther. You did it! You're riding!
Well, that was easy.
Just a few tips from Daddy on how to safely jump away from the bike when it falls, and she's good to go. Still - can't yet be outside on her own with it just yet. But otherwise, she's proven herself a good, safe rider who's made an awfully quick study of all this! Yay, Sweetie!
And as for the story of how we came to acquire this bike... That's another "wow" of a different sort.
Trying to make this as short a story as possible... after our very enjoyable potluck dinner last weekend, Hubby & I gained a lot of knowledge from our friends about where to find some help with the things we need (inexpensive or free food & clothes) as well as the confidence & "approval" that it really is okay to ask for help when you need it.
So, with that, I hung up a sign the next day at church, displaying our need for Sweetie to have a bigger bike.
Not 2 hours out of church & we got the call. Someone's daughter had well outgrown her bike & we were welcome to it. Yay!
I'm so thankful to this family as well as to so many other families & individuals who have helped us this week.
To an old friend/co-worker who told me about a PT job opening where she works her 2nd job. I start there tomorrow.
To the owner of a local tutoring company who called me in after receiving my resume. Or should I simply be thankful to the universe on this one? I think I was the right candidate at the right time interviewing with the right employer. I go in for training sometime later this week.
To another fellow church friend Hubby & I had the honor of getting to know better at last week's potluck. She could use some help with getting more items up faster on her EBay store. If I help her with that, we could both profit from the increase in items sold at her site. I've been helping her for almost a week now.
To the host of the potluck who gave us lots of helpful info, including a reminder of another friend who always has fresh fruits, veggies & breads available at her house - clear outs from a local large farm stand. Perfectly good food they're taking off their shelves to make room for new product. Now available at this other location, free to anyone who's interested and in need. We've been there 3 times this last week. Surprisingly good stuff!
To my parents, who didn't complain when they found out they unknowingly let us "shop" their house for needed groceries while they were away last weekend. And, of course, for all the other ways, big and small, that they've help us so often.
To my aunt who sent Hubby & I a thank you gift for checking in on her cat while she too was away last weekend. A too generous monetary gift. Just nearly the perfect amount to allow Hubby & I to go out for that anniversary sushi dinner. So we did - & had more than enough to pay for it when we included the money Hubby's grandparents sent us to help us celebrate our day.
And to Sweetie. In case you didn't know, Sweetie makes me one proud mama. For her smarts & creativity & general "great" attitude about life itself. But for this post's Sweetie pride, I'm focusing on Sweetie's simple happiness & her unassuming generosity. Sweetie doesn't care that her new bike isn't truly new. She doesn't care that much of her clothes are hand me downs or from the consignment store. She doesn't complain about having soup night after night for dinner (making homemade soup is cheap.) She thinks nothing of us going "grocery shopping" at our friend's driveway instead of the real store. And she rarely, if ever, fills the air with whines and wants whenever we pass by a store's toy aisle or she views certain kid-centered commercials. All she knows and cares about is that she's well loved, she eats enough & she has some fun toys & books to entertain herself with.
Not only all that, but she's just as happy & understanding when we pass along her old clothes, toys & books to others who can use them better than she can. In fact, this giving & receiving among friends & family - and strangers in need - is really a very natural part of her life by now. (I gotta say, it made me feel sooooo good yesterday to find out about some specific items my SIL could use for her daughter and to know that, yeah, we have that... and now you're welcome to it!)
What better gift can you give to your child than the gift of empathy, gratitude & knowing the joys in simple pleasures?
What better quality can you see shining through your child's eyes than simple happiness, generosity & understanding.