Alex followed the golden carrot a few weeks ago. Bribery and threats are the core of our parenting style. When Zach first learned to ride a two-wheeler without training wheels we rewarded him (see Bribery in Webster’s tome) by letting him pick out a Lego toy. Well Alex finally succumbed to the deep desire to try to best his brother, and also the unending lure of a new Lego craft. He went out with Chris several weeks ago and was working on that push-and-lift thing that you learn just before the thrill of pedaling comes. Anyway, they called me out and I had my video camera. I watched the monitor as he wobbled, then steadied himself, to ride back and forth on our street between the four houses around us. At one point, tears were streaming down my face.
Chris gave me that “What are you doing?” face, and I just laughed. On Alex’s last pass back toward the safety of our driveway, with a big grin on his face, he wobbled to a slower speed and delicately fell into the side of Chris’s car. He leaped up, grabbed the bike, and with that smile still on his face, said, “I’m okay….I’m okay.”
Since then, he has had several skinned knees and elbows, but he keeps leaping up with that same mantra. We all do it, some better than others. We say, “I’m okay.” to convince ourselves that we must just get up and try again. Despite all the pointy, mean things that leap up in our paths, (like parked cars, judgmental people, overdrawn checks, dead batteries and angry words), we usually can jump up and dust ourselves off. Lately, I find myself saying it a lot. I can do this, I can. Whatever the “this” may be. I know I am just trying to suck it up and find the courage to move on. I found a Mother’s day card a week or so ago that said ‘Behind every great kid is a mother who is pretty sure she is screwing it up.’ I think that pretty much sums me up. To all the moms out there who are raising some pretty great kids, despite what you think, you are not screwing it up. I hope you all had a great Mother’s Day that was relatively free from pointy, mean things.