I remember the first time I rode a bike without training wheels.
I was anything but receptive to the idea in the beginning, one time fishing the wheels out of a garbage can and demanding my Dad replace them, right now. He just gave me a pitying look and refused.
It's customary, expected, that you'll see the triumphant child peddling along, her father bent and clutching her handlebars so she won't tumble. They motor along the sidewalk, the little girl shaking her head and squeaking not to let go. The music swells and it turns out she'd been going along this whole time without him.
I don't remember that.
I do, however, remember wrenching up my chipped purple bike, tiny jaw jut out, standing at the top of our sloping driveway in the Summer sun. I probably glanced up to a window to see if anyone was watching, thinking, oh, they'd better be.
I swung up, toes barely touching the cement. Rocked for a moment, squeezing the hand brakes.
See, I'm no good with brakes.
Rocketing down our suddenly very short driveway, garage door closing in, eight-year-old me had little choice than to veer right and tumble into the grass.
I laid there for a few minutes, arms and legs theatrically bent.
Nobody was coming.
I shot up and stomped my foot. Grunting, I yanked the bike up and trudged up to the top.