<<<UPDATE>>> Video at the bottom of this post!!!
One of the greatest things about being a parent is seeing the growth of your child. I’m not talking about height, I mean the milestones. His first word or step. His first words after he lost his speech due to autism. His first day of school and Day 3 of Lose the Training Wheels. Why will July 13, 2011 be a milestone day for the Souza family? That marks the day that Truce rode on a two wheel bike for the first time.
If you don’t know about Lose the Training Wheels, it’s a wonderful program created by Dr. Richard Klein, a retired University of Illinois engineering professor, and his wife Marjorie. Truce has been to the camp 2 times before. While most of the other children are able to get up on two wheels, Truce has fallen just a bit short. That all ended yesterday.
I came to the Arena to see how he was doing. This year more than any he’s finally got enough speed to keep a bike going. Truce has a condition called hypotonia. That means his muscles wear out quicker because of his low muscle tone. So pedaling for over an hour usually spends him. In the “off-season” Truce has been riding his aunt’s 3-wheel bike very fast around the driveway to build up his leg strength.
After I saw that all was well, I headed back to the office. Right when I got back there, Jennifer texted me “2 wheels”. Of course I called her instantly as everyone was still cheering for him in the background. I told her the call me back via FaceTime (thank you Apple). I was able to see him ride, jump off the bike and come running to his mom screaming with joy! He was so excited and proud of himself, along with everyone there.
I couldn’t get the smile off my face for the rest of the day. As I type this a day later, I’m still smiling. To think that this camp almost didn’t happen because we didn’t have enough kids. I have made it my mission that if this goes again next year I will personally recruit families to participate. Every family should experience the joy of having your kid ride a bike. Better than that, seeing the face of your child doing it.
I have to thank Pete & Pat for making the camp happen. Also, all the volunteers that support the riders at the camp. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you do!