So, it must have been around 1977, give or take … I grew up in a small town in Florida, Palm Harbor to be exact. I remember my mom helping me to give up the training wheels on my bicycle… and, “be free”, she would say. She was quite the cheerleader for me. I remember we took them off, her doing all the mechanical aspects of removing them, my mom was quite the “do it yourself’er”, and telling me all along that she believed in me; that she was going to be right there to make sure I was going to be okay.
I was excited and scared all at the same time to take off these training wheels. They represented security, stability, and safety. Being free sounded exciting… it had adventure written all over it. But was I ready? My mom thought so, and I reluctantly agreed. I remember her giving me that little push as I peddled down our dirt road, and she was holding the back of my bike seat, running right along with me, and then, she finally let go. I didn’t realize it at first, but the moment I did, I think I scared myself. I kept going, and I did it. Success! My mom has always been there for me, especially during childhood, but even now as a married adult, venturing to finish my education, enjoying life after the military, and in my new home and life in New Hampshire, she’s there. I guess adventure and freedom has always called me, from bike riding to this crazy journey of life. It’s been a heck of a ride at times. But mom, she’s a constant, she is dependable and safe as training wheels on a bicycle, and I’m so grateful for her support.