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Top Ten Things I Haven't Mentioned: #10, Gliding

Quinn, the one we used to call "clumsy" and "slow" is apparently the only one with any natural athletic ability or grace around here. Months ago we finally bought a bike with training wheels for Bryce, knowing full well that it would sit in our garage and collect dust after one or two frustrating attempts at faking patience and forcing gleeful "you can do it!"s during Bryce's shrieks and spasms resulting from his illogical in-born fear of movement not completely, 100% within his physical control. When we moved the cob-web covered bike to the new house a few months ago, though, Bryce became interested in riding it as we'd walk by our neighbors' five-year-old boys zooming through each other's driveways with unbridled joy. After a few weeks of only slightly less frustrating walks than we'd experienced before, with slightly less blood-curdling shrieks and less humiliating spasms over the fact that the bike was GOING DOWNHILL AT A SLIGHT ANGLE AND HE MIGHT CRASH INTO THAT HOUSE FOUR MILES AWAY OH MY GOD PEOPLE HELLOOOO!!!, Quinn was demanding a bike of his own. He'd try to ride Bryce's during the times Bryce would be cowering in the corner and nursing the latest imagined bike-wound, but it was too big for him and his stubby little four-year-old legs couldn't produce the speed Quinn was obviously harboring.

John came home with a smaller bike one day and was beaming about how Quinn rode it happily throughout the grocery section of Wal-Mart and charmed everyone in his path. I assumed this was just John's typical over-zealous optimism coating the truth, but when I looked out the window and saw the blurry, zippy mass on the back patio, I was shocked at how well he handled the bike around the tight corners of the patio beams and the ridiculous amount of outdoor toys that littered concrete surface. Never one to shy away from competition, Bryce hopped on his own bike in a sudden change of heart about how terrifying it should be. On the flat surface of our back patio, he was fine. On the 10-degree death-defying angles of our suburban neighborhood streets, though, the shrieking re-commenced while his little "clumsy" brother -- quite literally -- rode circles around him. Bryce would not stand for this, and taking his next cue from the neighbor kids once again, asked strategically for a scooter.

When I came home the day of the scooter purchases, I didn't know what to expect. "Oh sure," I thought, "Quinn was fine on a bike with training wheels, but this, THIS is a two-wheeled scooter! It takes balance, precision, timing, SKILL! These kids can't handle this!" They strapped on their helmets and prepared for the launch. Bryce was giddy with excitement and raring to go, ready to prove that Quinn, the measley four-year-old, could never out-do him. His left foot on the scooter, his right foot on the ground, he lunged forward and jerked ahead; his hands clutched the foam handles and the sensitive steering equipment caused him to lurch suddenly to the left, then the right. Commence shrieking, commence spasms. While John and I started our fake encouraging tones and resisted offering shallow, teeth-clenching "you're okay"s, Quinn's scooter passed us by like a sailboat gliding on the sea. We all stopped, breathless, to take in the beauty of this formerly galumping bull-in-a-china-shop kid, now gingerly holding his right foot over the ground floating smoothly, evenly beneath him, eyes straight ahead, head held high, fine blonde hair wisping over the tops of his ears, perfectly at ease. "That's a story worth telling," I thought -- and I think so every time I see it.