training wheels

My grand-nephew Jaxon Killinger is a sweet little boy, who is shy and timid…until he gets to know you, then he is very outgoing and very silly. He is like my niece, Lacey Stevens in that way. Jax loves to make Lacey and his dad, Chris Killinger laugh by dancing and being goofy, and I’m sure he has great success in his endeavors. Lacey first met this sweet little guy when she began dating his daddy, and she fell in love almost immediately with him and his big sister, Brooklyn Killinger.

This has been an exciting summer for Jax, because it is the first summer he has been able to ride his bicycle without training wheels. He is so excited!! It is a new-found form of freedom, even if he isn’t allowed to go very far just yet. Jax and Brooklyn finally talked their dad into letting them ride around the block, and while Chris was nervous about it, they did great and now they want to go for bike rides around the block all the time. They keep asking to ride further and further too. Typical for kids when they start to spread their wings a little bit. I’m sure that his daddy will have bigger worries, because its obvious to me that little Jaxon is looking to drive soon…at least in boats!!

The family has been doing some camping this summer too. Jax and Brooklyn totally love it especially is their cousin, Elliott is going along. Elliott is Lacey’s brother Garrett and his wife, Kayla Stevens’ daughter, and Elliott is totally taken with Jax. I can’t say that I’m surprised about that, Jax is a little cutie. Elliott just turned three, and had a big party. Jax and Brooklyn were there with their daddy and Lacey, and Elliott wanted Jax’s total attention. She didn’t think that he should be paying attention to anyone or anything but her. Even at three, Elliott has good taste, because Jaxon is a handsome little boy, and while he is three years older than Elliott, that doesn’t matter to her one bit. In her opinion, he is her cousin, and hers alone, hahahaha!! Can’t wait to see what shenanigans these two will get into in the future. Today is Jaxon’s 6th birthday. Happy birthday Jaxon!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

When it comes to birthdays, my granddaughter, Shai Royce is still losing ground. While most people who were born in 1996 are turning 24 years old this year, Shai is still spinning her training wheels at 6 years old. Of course, it all started 24 years ago, and when it came time for Shai’s first birthday, it was mysteriously missing. February 28th arrived, and her cousin, Chris turned 1 year old, but then the date went to March 1st, and Shai’s birthday was not there. The same thing happened when Chris turned 2 years old and 3 years old, and Shai’s birthday was missing both times. Then, when Chris turned 4 years old, Shai’s birthday suddenly reappeared, but the damage had been done. Chris was 4 years old, and Shai was only 1 year old. Shai has been continuing to lose ground in this manner ever since that time. This year, Chris is 24 years old, and Shai is only 6 years old…and yet, they were born one day apart. Shai has been getting ripped off ever since.

People born on February 29th go through this situation every year. Their birthdays are not guaranteed. They get them, but only every 4th year. Most of them really like it, however, because let’s face it…it is unique!! Everyone wants their birthday to be special, but for the Leap Day Baby, birthdays are the most unique of all. On the off years, they can pick their day…the 28th or the 1st, or they can just celebrate both days. Then, on their on year, many of them have an extra big blow out bash!! It’s a win-win situation. Their payback for those missed birthday years.

Shai has several things that make her unique including her birthday. Her name is unique…at least in the United States. Shai is a Hebrew name that means gift…and that she is, but this year she has one other unique credit to add to her repertoire. Shai is quite possibly the youngest licensed insurance agent ever!! I mean, how many 6 year old insurance agents do you know? I would guess none!! Shai is a wonderfully unique kind of girl, and I’m very proud of all she has accomplished. Today is Shai’s 6th official birthday!! Happy (unofficial) 24th birthday Shai!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Garrett Stevens croppedThe moonless night was dark, quiet, and peaceful. The children were tucked in their beds in the trailer, while their parents, my sister, Alena Stevens and her husband, Mike sat outside by the campfire. It had been a beautiful day on vacation. They love camping, and this was the perfect ending to a perfect day. After sitting by the campfire for a while, they decided that it was time to go to bed. They tip toed into the trailer, where the candle in the sink that Alena had left burning for a night light for the kids had burned itself out, leaving the trailer very dark. They climbed into bed, and started to drift off to sleep. Suddenly the quiet was shattered as their ten year old son, Garrett sat up and yelled, “I’m blind!!” To which my sister said, “No you’re not. It’s just dark. Go back to sleep.” I’m sure it was all she could do to hold back the giggles that were bubbling up inside her. I know it would be hard for me.

This was not the first time Garrett would do some goofy thing, nor would it be the last. When Garrett was about three or four, he decided that he wanted to ride a big boy bicycle, so his parents got him a two wheeler and put training wheels on it. Garrett was floating on air. He loved riding around on the bike. That didn’t mean, Garrett Michael Stevens croppedhowever, that he was in any hurry to get rid of the training wheels, because he wasn’t. Garrett rode around on that bike with training wheels for quite a while…so long, in fact that eventually, one of the training wheels fell off. Even then, Garrett didn’t feel the need to take off the other training wheel. No, he rode around on three wheels until the other training wheel broke off, probably during a leaning turn that only a kid who doesn’t need training wheels can make. And so it was that Garrett learned that he didn’t need training wheels, and probably hadn’t for some time.

Not all of Garrett’s antics were on his own, of course. His sisters, Michelle and Lacey got in on some of them too. I’m sure you think you know what to do with a sleeping bag, but you would be wrong. A sleeping bag isn’t just for sleeping. No, it makes a perfect sled too. The three kids used to get on the sleeping bags and slide down the stairs in the classic style of the Home Alone movies. The biggest problem was that unlike the Home Alone movie, where McCauley Calkin used the sled and went right out the front door, their stairs ended with a wall a very short distance away. Nevertheless, the fun continued until one of the kids hit the wall a little too hard and ended up crying. Then Alena had to make them stop.
Garrett & Kayla
Those days of being a silly little boy are long gone now, but Garrett is still a joker in any way he can think up. I guess some things will never change…or will they. These days Garrett is busy making plans of a different kind. He is ready to take the next big step in his life, as he and his fiancée, Kayla Smiley plan their wedding to take place some time next summer. Their marriage, however, will probably not change Garrett’s funny side. While Garrett is the kind of man who is always ready to help whenever he is needed, he also still loves to pull pranks and other jokes on people whenever he can. I’m quite sure that they will never have a dull moment in their lives together. Today is Garrett’s birthday. Happy birthday Garrett!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Training WheelsEvery child goes through it. That age when they get their first bicycle, and they learn to ride. Most times they get that first bicycle for Christmas, or for their birthday, which can be bad if that birthday happens to be in Winter, because there are few places to ride it in the Winter, unless you live where it is warm year round…not the case for my family. Those birthdays weren’t a problem for my sister-in-law, Marlyce, who was born July 9th, or my daughters, whose birthdays are in June. Their birthdays were the perfect time to give them that long awaited bicycle. When they were little, having a tricycle was the greatest thing, but as they began to notice that there were kids out there who could ride the big kids bicycle with two wheels, that tricycle started to really look like a baby bike to them. When that happens, you know it’s time to get that first bicycle.

By the time they get their first bicycle with training wheels, they pretty much know how to use the peddles, having spent several years on a tricycle already. So there isn’t much work involved in training them to ride this new semi-big kid bicycle. The main things are how to go over the bumps without tipping over, and how to take the downhill runs without having a wreck. Most kids learn that part pretty quickly and for my girls and Marlyce, there weren’t a lot of hills to ride on…up or down, so that was pretty easy. We lived out in the country then, as did my in-laws, when Marlyce and the kids were little, so there wasn’t much traffic to deal with either, but the city kids had to learn about the street and the dangers therein. I think that was a bit of a relief to ma, because I really didn’t want to deal with them being in the street much at that age.
First Bicycle
Kids do pretty good on their bicycles with training wheels, but it isn’t too long before they decide that they are big enough to ride without training wheels. For me, that was kind of sad, because it meant they were growing up, and I really didn’t want them to. Little did I know then that the rest of their lives would rush by as fast as those first few years and before I knew it they would be all grown up, and have families of their own. Nevertheless, time waits for no man, and the girls got to that age where they had to have those training wheels off. They learned to ride on two wheels with minimal trouble, and they were soon riding their bicycle to the neighbors house, and the to kids house down the street. It was just the beginning of their being able to get themselves where they wanted to go, and the beginning of my days of wondering exactly where they were at any given moment. Thankfully they were pretty good about checking in and getting home by the times I said, otherwise I might have hated that age more that I did the simply fact that they were growing up.

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