When I got home from work yesterday, Gabriel and I went for a bike ride up and down our street twice.  He’s gotten pretty good, really, and hasn’t crashed and burned too terribly. At the very least, he’s no scars to show for it.

On the second leg back toward the house, I told him that we could probably take off his training wheels pretty soon. He sounded excited at that possibility. It got me thinking about when my dad took my training wheels off.  Not the removal so much as the time he held me steady and then let go as I peddled and didn’t fall.  I remember that powder blue bike and I heading down Huntington Drive in Sacramento, Ca., in the direction of my school.  Good times. 

What really stayed with me from yesterday’s ride is Gabriel’s gumption. You see, when we take on the long, gradual hill on the approach to the house, I have to ride beside him, put my hand on his back, and gently push him to make it up the climb.  He surprised me yesterday.  When I supported him like normal and said, “You got it” or something to that effect, he yelled, “I can do it!” a couple times. 

I thought, that kid’s got gumption.  It reminded me of that scene in “Heartbreak Ridge,” when Profile fell down during PT, but then got up with renewed vigor after some encouragement from Clint Eastwood.

Not that I think Gabriel is a Marine, but, well…he’s got the drive.