When my children were little we used to engage in a favorite family ritual: a bike ride to the local donut shop. Actually, they were the ones who would ride, I would walk or sometimes run after them. The running usually occurred after my younger son who had just recently learned to ride a two-wheeler with training wheels. One day, it occurred to me that our bike rides were actually a reflection of life. Let me explain…..
Sometimes I watched them both ride their bikes with a mixture or confidence and pride. I walked behind them enjoying all the beauty that the new morning has to offer. Other times, I found myself sprinting to keep up with them, calling out warnings that would possibly lie ahead. Then…..there were the potholes and other bumps in the road. These worried me most of all. What if one of them fell or got hurt? What if their confidence got bruised and they did not want to ride anymore. Often, to protect them or me, I grabbed onto the bikes and carefully guided them through this rough terrain to the smooth road the lies ahead.
My favorite parts of the ride, however, were the unexpected stops to inspect the little details of the world that we so often missed in our hurry through the day. At these points, my boys got off their bikes and critically examined the pillbug, spiderweb, or other treasure of the moment. When everything has been thoroughly inspected, they hopped back on their bikes and continued on the journey.
Yes, I am the one who has taught them how to pedal to go and apply the brakes to stop. But, they taught me how to take a bike ride. Maybe, I found some new tools for my toolbox.
In the craziness of the world today, our children can offer us life lessons. Who knows what we may learn from them or when it will happen. But when it does, savor the moment and add a tool or two to your box.