This morning, on the way to school, my heart just about leapt out of my chest and splattered itself on the road. Six hours later, I think it’s still trying to escape.
Recently Mahalia has decided she wants to start BMX. Dylan started BMX a few months ago, but Mahalia wasn’t interested at the time. Since Mahalia and the boy across the road have decided that they are going to get married (young love, aww…), Mahalia has decided she wants to start BMX as her husband to be also rides. For the last few weeks, Dylan has been letting Mahalia practice riding his bike so she can get used to using hand brakes (hers only has back pedal brakes) that are required for BMX.
As we left for school this morning, Dylan let Mahalia ride his bike as he was scooting. Apart from thinking that Dylan was in a super generous mood this morning, I gave little thought to the fact that Mahalia wasn’t riding her own bike. And then we turned onto a street that slopes gently downwards, and with no footpath, the place to ride, scoot and push a pram is on the road. The hill isn’t steep, but it’s long enough that you can pick up a bit of speed as you ride down it. As Mahalia started rolling down the hill, I reminded her to use the hand brakes. It seems she’d forgotten how. As she headed for the t-intersection at the bottom of the street, instead of slowing so she could turn onto the footpath at the bottom, she seemed to be picking up speed. As I’m calling out to her to use the brakes, too far away to do anything, in my mind I could see a huge stack about to happen, with lots of grazed skin, and possibly a broken bone.
But she didn’t stack. She managed to slow the bike and come to a stop, without using the brakes. It’s the way in which she did it that had my heart trying to escape my body. Seemingly in slow motion, I watched Mahalia perform a u-turn across the street, gradually slowing as she headed back up the hill until she came to a stop. I didn’t know whether to be happy or angry. While she stopped her self from stacking, she is so bloody luck that the street is fairly quiet, and that none of the occasional cars we do see were coming down the street, or turning into the street. Quietly, I’m impressed with the way she handled the bike, and that instead of riding out into the intersection where no cars could see her coming, she turned across a street where she was highly visible to others. But I had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach the rest of the way to school, imagining what could have happened if there had been cars on the road this morning.
There’s a steeper hill on the way home from school, so Mahalia gets to scoot home this afternoon while Dylan rides. And I think BMX is a long way off for Mahalia. I want to keep my heart in my chest.