A dad’s gift: letting go

A dad’s gift: letting go

We have young bike riders in our family.  Not just one, but two!  Christian learned how to ride Friday evening, and Henry learned Saturday morning!

The training wheels have actually been off of Christian’s bike now for several weeks (if not months).  But Christian has been low on motivation to learn, and his dad and I have been short on time to teach him.  Recently though, I finally had a chance to practice bike-riding with Christian.  The problem was, I was never able to let go of the bicycle seat.  I walked alongside him, and I ran behind him.  But my hand never left the seat.  I just couldn’t let my precious baby (ahem, six year-old) go.

Then Friday my husband cancelled a recruiting trip to stay home and spend time with the boys and me. (I am still so grateful!)  In the evening, after dinner, we took the bikes out of the garage and Joe worked with Christian.  Back and forth across the front lawn they went, Joe pushing, letting go, and then Christian, doing the rest.  Within minutes Christian had figured it out–pedaling, balancing, steering–all of it.  Joe had done everything I had done, except that he had actually let go of the bike.

Go figure.

Of course, the first thing Henry wanted to do the next morning was take the wheels off of his bike.  He is three years-old (soon-to-be-four) and shows no fear of anything, least of all bike-riding without training wheels.  He was determined to do what his older brother had done.  And, he did (with dad’s helping hand–or lack thereof).

Hooray for daddy!

And hooray for being able to let go.   As long as I was holding onto Christian’s seat, Christian didn’t have the freedom to learn for himself.  As soon as dad let go, he did.  Yes, I do believe this letting-go-thingy is something I will have to surely practice, if not master, as a parent.

But letting go is scary.   What if he falls?  What if he gets hurt? What if he discovers something so new and so wonderful that he leaves and never comes back?

Thankfully, at least for now, daddy is braver than I am.  And luckily, there are brakes on these bikes, and Bandaids and antibiotic cream in the bathroom.

Boys, you’re not pedaling too far away from me just yet!  And remember, I’m still the one who kisses all your boo-boos.

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