After your first day of cycling, one dream is inevitable.
A memory of motion lingers in the muscles of your legs,
and round and round they seem to go.
You ride through Dreamland on wonderful dream bicycles that change and grow.
~ H.G. Wells The Wheels of Chance
My son learned to ride his bike a few weeks ago.
And neither his father nor I had very much to do with it.
I enrolled Little C in the Pedalheads Bike Camp and after seeing the results of this week long, 2.5 hours a day camp program, I know that it was the best thing for all of us.
For one thing, they took the training wheels of his bike on the first day! (I know for a fact that I wouldn’t have done that for a long time because I would have been the one afraid to, not him!)
By the second day, he was riding about 10-15 feet on his own and at the end of the week, all he needed was a little bit of a push and off he went riding at least a block.
Every day he would come home and was just so proud of himself and also a bit “Meh, no biggie mom, just ridin’ my bike.”
And every day, I wondered if I was missing out somehow on this milestone in my child’s life. Wondering if it should be me or his dad doing the teaching.
Then I would remember myself and my son and our personalities and know that there is no way that I would have been able to have the patience to do it and that we would have just ended up frustrated with each other and someone would very likely be in tears at the end of it (me!).
I think this is simply one more lesson I am learning as a parent.
Know thy limits.
I could have spent hours all summer trying to teach my son to ride and I know that it would not have been fun for either of us. Instead I chose to send him to bike camp, to learn with his peers, to be pushed without the pressure of Mommy or Daddy hovering over him and to be so proud of something that he accomplished on his own!
In fact, he had so much fun and I was so impressed by the program, that I am enrolling both him and his sister in one more week before the summer is out!
Every single day I learn more and more about this parenting gig. I see around me the kind of parent I want to be and I also see the kind of parent I don’t want to be.
I don’t want to be that parent that pushes my kid so hard that every lesson ends in tears. I want him to want to do the activities that make him happy (not me) and I want him to feel a sense of accomplishment doing them. I also don’t want to be the parent that is overly present and always there to pick up the pieces. And this may be a lesson for further on down the road, but I don’t want to raise an entitled little shit who knows that mommy and daddy are always gonna bail him out of whatever mess or mistake or hiccup he faces in life. I want him to learn to pick himself up and learn from his mistakes and do better the next time around.
I DO want to be the kind of parent that instills a sense of work ethic in my children. And by work ethic, I mean, you get what you give. Give something your best shot, try your hardest and you will get the rewards. Often that reward is just the smug self-satisfaction of knowing that you did that something… ALL. BY. YOURSELF! Trust me, for a five and a half year old, this is BIG! And for my little perfectionist (sheesh is he ever his father’s kid!) this is GINORMOUS!!
So next week, there I will be once again, the mom on the sidelines, drinking my grande soy latte and watching someone else teach my kids the finer points of balance, brakes and biking like a pro! And I am good with that.
I am learning what it is that I am good at as a parent and THIS, is just not one of those things.
It’s called delegating people! Don’t hesitate to do it… even as a parent!
See you on the bike trails!
This post is Day TWO of the Summer Blog Challenge.
Check out these other posts from my friends joining in on the fun.
Zita gets very personal and has some news over at The Dulock Diaries
Meaghan has a confession and a colourful addiction at MagzD Life
April gives us the low down on her “new” parenting method at This Mom’s Got Something to Say.
and Liam’s BS meter went off the charts over at In the Now.