Ugh. Less than a year ago I wrote about teaching a child to ride a bike. It feels like a lifetime (and something that I should have started working on way WAY earlier). I guess each parent has his or her own personal agenda for mastery for their kids – they must learn to swim, or ride a bike or do mental math on a certain timeline. The bike riding was a bit of a bone to pick in our location as we don’t live in a neighborhood with sidewalks and our street is known as a “cut-through” street (we have speed bumps and all, but it’s not side street or cul-de-sac.
Aside from all that, our kids tend to “not be keen on plummeting down to the Earth and breaking said fall with their palms, knees, elbows or faces” – divas. I am not really sure where I took missteps in trying to ensure the kids wouldn’t fall and maybe I have done them a bit of a disservice by covering the truth (this is going to HURT) with a platitude (you will be okay!), but learning to teach someone you would literally die to protect who to navigate a skill that feel counter to that instinct has illuminated my flaws…(and for the record, if you are wondering, today there has been a fall, there has been blood and yes, she got back in the saddle again).
Perhaps I am sensitive to perceived resilience and determination on the heels of such a P.I.T.A. week of separation anxiety and next week’s my birthday anxiety and such – a lot of times, it would appear I am missing the mark of making the whole best childhood ever. But then again maybe that is the point. They are safe and healthy and despite my biggest fears at the end of the day they are happy too. I can’t soften the falls – or even prevent them all the time, but I can be there to cheer them on and encourage them to get back up and dust themselves off before trying again.