Learning in a Middle School Parking Lot

Like many new parents we had fears when we found out we were expecting.  The fears that I remember most vividly however were:

  • For him: who would watch the kids while we worked?  His mom stayed home with him for several years then his parents worked split shift.
  • For me: where would our child learn to ride a bike?  We live in a rural area on a VERY busy road. I grew up in suburban neighborhoods.

We assuaged each other’s fears.  My children practice their bike skills on our long driveway for the most part.  But my four year old has reached level where she needs more room to gather speed and practice turns.

So I’ve been taking her to the local middle school so she can learn those skills.  The dog and I get a nice walk/jog out of it and she loves having free reign of the parking lots.  Because it’s summer, there’s only rarely other cars in the vicinity.


She’s been getting stronger and braver on the bike but is still dependent on training wheels.  

Today while my daughter practiced, another mother set up with her daughter in an upper parking lot.  This daughter wasn’t learning to ride, she was learning to drive.  I thought it was adorable that these different significant life moments were occurring in the parking lots of the same middle school.

Perhaps 12 years from now we will be in the same parking lot learning how to drive.  But for now, I’m looking forward to losing the training wheels and gaining some speed.  I want her to be able to ride while I run on the rail trails.