By: Cassie Van Der Hyde
This past weekend, I had the enjoyment of teaching my kids something that opened up a whole world of possibility for them. It wasn’t reading (been there), or science (done that), it was how to ride a bike! I don’t think I was prepared for the crazy emotions that come with something like this as a parent. I remembered riding my own rusty bicycle around with my brothers and cousins, terrorizing the neighborhood. But there it was, my one lazy four-year-old with training wheels, begging me to just push him so he didn’t have to pedal, and my two older kids wobbling around and crashing into the foliage alongside the path, but slowly, cautiously moving towards that easy balance that comes when you finally ‘Get It.’
I told my husband that I have never felt more like a parent than I did watching my kids seem so suddenly grown up, trying something new and scary to them, and making progress in front of my eyes. I can’t wait to see them do it again!
Parenting sometimes feels like learning to ride a bike for me – courage, momentum, and balance. It requires courage to decide to work at it, knowing I’ll probably fall and crash and fail often before I get going. It’s scary! It takes a little momentum to get going, so I have to set myself up for success by being consistent and diligent about teaching, guiding, and discipline for my kids even when they are tiny to set myself up for success. Maybe most important, for me, is learning to balance things. When my kids or I are overwhelmed, knowing when to say no to the unnecessary events and tasks and just spend time together. Knowing when to clamp down on the rules and when to relax them a little. It’s a new challenge every day that tests me in my consistency and diligence to this job I’ve got! I’m still pretty wobbly, even ten years in, but I’m getting there, and the good news is that tomorrow is always a new day to start afresh and get back on to ride.