Sunday, 16 September 2012

Learning to Let Go

Today brought with it another challenge of being a parent. The lesson to be learnt: "Let Go". That may seem like a lesson better suited to a Mom whose children are in their teens, getting ready graduate and become adults, but believe me, it was a valuable lesson for me today, and one that will continue to challenge me.

What brought about this notion of letting go? This weekend we started teaching Etienne how to ride a bike. Not a run bike, or one with training wheels, but just a regular old bike. For over a year now, Etienne has been riding confidently on the Trail-a-Bike, and scooting along on his run bike. Then, earlier this week, he borrowed a bike from a friend after dropping their sisters off at school, and with my help, managed to get two full revolutions on his own with no help from me. I was convinced, "This is it! Etienne is ready to ride on his own!" I was so excited, revelling in the possibility that soon all the members of the Velo Family would experience the freedom of solo riding.

So this morning we took the kids to the grounds of a nearby school to get Etienne on his bike and riding. He was excited, too, or so it seemed. After two goes around the track, he gave up. He refused to focus, preferring to continually get off and play in the playground. I was left feeling so deflated. My elation for my youngest to finally be able to ride on his own had turned to frustration. I felt like I had failed somehow.

Helping Etienne keep his balance while he pedals
After the playground, we went for a ride, and I had some time to reflect. Truly, while it would be fantastic if Etienne had started solo riding today, just because it didn't happen today, doesn't mean it won't. Etienne will turn four in January, and his sister didn't start riding on her own until she was five. Every child figures it out at a different pace, and eventually my son will be riding next to me on our bike rides around the city. Until then, I need to "Let Go", understanding that in time, Etienne will get it, and the learning process will just be another memory in our little adventure as a family.

A sleepy reminder that someone still
has some growing to do

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