So, now Grace is in sixth grade. She's been riding her bike to school without incident for two years. All of those crashes are now in the past...or so I thought.
Yesterday I came home and asked, "What happened to your face?" She started crying and told me she had crashed on her bike just yards from our front door, and hit her face on the sidewalk. Her lip was swollen as was her chin which had an abrasion on it. She had cut the inside of her mouth as well, and skinned her knee.
I asked what happened, and through the tears she told me she didn't know. I rubbed her back and gave her a kiss on top of her head and told I was sorry she crashed, but was so happy she wasn't really injured.
The truth is, that crash brought back all those fears I had for her and her bicycle for many years. How do you not know what happened? How do you not protect your face? She could have knocked out teeth. Just writing these words I'm getting chills. Along with a good helmet for her head, I may have to Google chin helmets for Grace.
So, I am scared knowing that she still has not quite mastered the art of the two-wheeler. I don't want to come home one day to find a toothless eleven-year old in my living room watching Liv and Maddie. Although I'm tempted to find her an alternative way to get back home...I can't. I can't stop her from taking these small risks. I can't protect her from all danger, because when I do, I crete even more danger for her future.
Grace needs to fall, needs to get up, needs to jump back on the bike, and learn from the mistakes. She may not be the most graceful, regardless of her name, but she's a bright girl. She'll learn from this, and I need to let her ride and show her none of the fear for her that I feel inside.
I write this the morning after her crash. Grace is still sleeping in bed. She has yet to ride since her chin met the sidewalk, but she will. Today, Grace will ride again, and I won't stop her.
image courtesy of ©MorgueFile.com/FidlerJan