10:14pm We're all very proud of Sophie. She rode her bike today without training wheels for the first time! Her bike needed new inner tubes, so I took care of those this afternoon and convinced her that it was time to get rid of the trainers. We've tried this once before, but Sophie is just not the type to take a risk. On anything. Ever.
Sophie agreed (bravely) that it was time to get rid of the training wheels. I was surprised, but happy to give it a shot. She was pretty confident that she'd make it work, until she got on the bike. We barely got out of the driveway before she started to stiffen up and get tense. Elisabeth was trying to be encouraging, and I promised that I would be with Sophie to make sure she didn't tip over.
Well, it was a bit rough going at first, but I kept telling Sophie that she was doing well, that I knew she could do it, and that I would do everything I could to make sure she didn't get hurt or fall. About a block from our house, she started getting the hang of things, but insisted that I still hold on. By now I was just barely keeping my hand on her bike seat. As we turned the corner, she started to take off and I let go. After a while, I let her know that I wasn't holding on anymore and it all went smoothly from there.
The best thing of all was that people were out in their yards and they were cheering Sophie on! Everyone could tell that she was riding on her own and they were so encouraging. It made me so thankful that we live in a small town. Sophie felt like a little celebrity--and I'm glad she did!
When we got home, I told Sophie how proud I was of her and how I knew she could do it. She let me know that she was proud of herself (as well she should be). When she went to bed tonight, I told her to have sweet dreams of riding her bike all over town.