Skip to main content

Riding Away

Well, it happened. For the last four years, since my son was five, we've been encouraging him to ride his bicycle. He just would never commit to learning.

"I might fall," he would say. "It will hurt," he would continue. And although my husband and I would combat these complaints with encouragement and typical parent-isms like "Once you learn, you'll never forget" and "If you fall, you can get right back up," I was secretly relieved he didn't have the inclination to conquer his fears.

I'm really not a helicopter mom. I don't want to hover over my children forever, just until they are big enough to defend themselves against the dangerous world outside. I know, I know. As the mom of boys I need to get over it already, but I can't help it. The very thought of him hopping on his two wheels and speeding off toward freedom filled me with dread. And yet ...

So, when, at nine years old he decided to finally overcome his anxiety, I was right there, encouraging, running alongside cheering. Then I let go. And, in a way, so did he. He wobbled, fell. Got up and wobbled some more, and fell a few more times. Then, he found his pedals, got some speed and wheeled beyond my reach into a slightly bigger world.

As I write it now, the moment brings tears to my eyes. Because, the riding of a bicycle is a symbol of something greater that we as parents long for and fear at the same time.

So, I let him go, and showered him in prayers from a distance, as I'm sure I will be doing from further and further away as he grows into a young man.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Open Palms: Learning to Hold On Loosely

I can't even tell you how long it's been since I've written in my blog. Months? Years? Probably years. But daily I have messages fly in and through my mind that I think, "I've got to share this with people!" but I never do because I'm usually driving a kid or chasing a kid or yelling at a kid or nagging a kid to pick up something off the floor. You get the picture. 
Yet, I'm compelled to get off my rump and finally put this down because, Lord help me, I've been through a lot lately. Not kidding. Full disclosure, we haven't been through as much as some, and I'm not claiming to understand other people's real pain or suffering ... like cancer or the loss of a child. So, please understand I'm living in reality here when I tell you these recent life challenges are probably child's play compared to some people's daily mountains.

But for those struggling with climbing over the steep hill called trust in times of change, this one&#…

To the toddler mom who commented on my teenager ...

It's been a while since I've posted. I can only say that this has been quite a year of life lessons ... many of which I will share very soon. For now, I feel compelled to write about an encounter I had just last night.

She was standing there after what I can only assume had already been a harrowing day, a baby strapped to her chest, another crawling on the nearby carpet and a toddler, tired from his gymnastics class, weeping from exhaustion. It was summer, after all, a time of going and doing, hot summer days and not-early-enough nights.

That's when she noticed me, standing with my almost-13-year-old son, who had recently shot past me in height. His self possession and maturity must have struck her, as I could see a quick glint of jealousy streak across her face. I recognized that look. I'd had it not so long ago when I was the mom of little tots, which elevated my joy to the heavens while sapping my strength. I remember coveting the phase of life other moms were in: chi…

Confessions of a Horrible Summertime Mother

Most people wouldn't classify me as a terrible summertime mom. I mean, I've already shared with my readers the color-coded calendar I hold in such high esteem. I'm very good at finding activities for my children to participate in during the hot summer months. It's the downtime I have trouble with. 

That, my friends, is what makes me a terrible summertime mom. 

I work. Which means that my time with my kids is relegated to anytime during the week after 1 and before 8 or 9 p.m. (preferably 8). That's usually when my kids want to go to wet places like the pool or the splash pad or the lake. 

Now, I do love summer. Really. I grew up frolicking lakeside with my cousins, skiing, wake boarding and living in my swimsuit. It never bothered me that my diet consisted mainly of Rainbow white bread and bologna. In fact, at 10 years old, I liked it that way. I don't remember a lot of adults hovering around. Heck, I don't think I ever wore floaties or a life jacket. My family…