>You learn something new every day, right?!?

>Well if that’s true, then today I learned that Bailey has not mastered the brakes on his bicycle. During my run this afternoon we headed out of our neighborhood onto the trails. All three boys wanted to go to the ‘big hill’ and so that’s the direction we took. At the top of the hill I could see the excitement in the eyes of my three boys! They could see down the other side which is quite steep. I decided to use my head and think of possible catastrophes. My best solution to avoid any catastrophes was to stagger their descent. I let Hayden go first, and he was down in no time, waiting for us at the bottom near the exercise equipment. Carson was next and bless his heart, he stayed in complete control the entire time. Almost the point where I wanted to yell and give him permission to go a little faster. And then it was Bailey’s turn.

Now, for those of you who live here at Fort Carson and run these trails, you know that this particular hill (right across the street from Cheyenne Mountain State Park) is a steep, speed-gathering hill. You also know that it has a slight flattening about 1/3 of the way down and then drops down farther. Kind of reminds me of a roller coaster when thinking about it, though that’s never what I’m thinking when I’m running it. Well, Bailey stayed in control during that first part of the hill, and I was keeping pace beside him. And then he hit that second part. Before long I noticed he was picking up serious speed and got worried…and then I saw his front tire wobbling back and forth, just before he crashed. This was the kind of crash you see on TV, cringe, and then say, “Shew, glad that’s on TV.” But this time I was really there and this was happening to my baby. I sprinted to him praying that simple prayer – the only one that would come. “OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD!” It eventually turned to “HELP MY BABY, HELP MY BABY!’ He was not moving, though he was screaming. When I got there I tried to keep him from getting up so I could check him out. He was having none of that, but he really couldn’t control his movements, and his right arm was having spasms. He wanted to stand but his legs were like rubber. I forced him to sit on my lap for a few minutes so I could check him out. As far as I could tell there was nothing broken and the only blood was coming from skinned places. All his teeth were intact, though they were sharing the space with a lot of dirt and gravel. He was wearing a good-fitting helmet (glad we had one fitted for his head!) and he was responsive. In fact, in the midst of his screaming he kept saying, “I’m hungry!!” Poor guy!
When he had settled and I was sure he was in no immediate danger, I asked if he wanted to try to stand up. He was able to, though he didn’t do so for long. Both of his brothers had dropped their bikes and ran back up the hill to see if he was okay…Hayden was actually getting in MY way and I had to shoo him away a few times. (Looking back, that’s pretty sweet of him…I will tell him that tomorrow!) So when Bailey sat back down I walked back down to with Hayden and Carson to where they had dropped their bikes. This was to kind of give Bailey a few moments to compose himself. When we got back I reminded him of our family rule: If you fall off a bike, you gotta get back on and ride one more time. While he was not fond of this idea, he was a trooper! I walked the bike back up to the top of that second hill and made him ride. I taught him how to press hard on the brakes to keep control of the bike. He was not doing great, but he was getting the idea. We finally reached the bottom (much slower than we did the first time) and then turned to walk back up.
When we got to the top, we still had to go back down the side that is closer to our house. Fortunately it is not nearly as steep and it is curvy. I am SO PROUD of him because he kept complete control and stayed beside me the whole time. Yes, he was crying, but I was able to walk beside him as he rode! And when he reached the bottom he took off and was pretty much fine…aside from crying for Daddy!!
I was thankful I had my phone, though I didn’t really need it. The thought always crosses my mind that if don’t have it and there’s an emergency I’d be stuck.
When he crashed he didn’t quite go over his handlebars, but he did end up in front of his bike and he rolled about 4 times before sliding a long way to a stop. On the way back up the hill the last time I counted the paces from where I sat with him for several minutes to the very first tire out-of-control tire track and it was about 20 of my paces. That’s a pretty far distance for him to roll and slide.
When we got home I cleaned up his wounds and gave him some Motrin. I can imagine that he’s pretty sore. He is very fortunate that he prefers to wear jeans because they protected his legs very well. Most of his scrapes are on his arms, a few on his back and face. And of course, I took pictures. He fell asleep on my bed while I was getting ready to go out with a friend (GIRL’S NIGHT!!!) which sort of worried me. I was fortunate, however, that this friend of mine is a nurse. So I had her inspect him for signs of a concussion. He was just fine, but probably a bit traumatized from the day’s events.
Turns out after all that crying about being hungry he had no appetite for dinner. I left him with Matt while I enjoyed Greek cuisine with a friend PCSing soon, so I’m not sure if he ever ate. I am, however, sitting in his room (at 1:20 AM) because I needed reassurance that he’s fine. He is! Sleeping soundly while I type away…I’m awake because I enjoyed a yummy cup of coffee at oh-late-thirty!!
So today I learned that Bailey had not mastered the brakes and then I learned he had the tenacity to get back up on the bike and try again, even facing the very hill that had beaten him to a pulp. I am sure there’s a lesson in there for adults…

About Jennifer

"Yes, they're all mine." The answer to the question I hear most often.
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