I was a much better parent before I actually was a parent.
Perhaps you can relate.
In my perfectly dillusional world, teaching the boys to ride their bikes would be fun. No one would come unglued.
Bicycle helmets would not be chucked across the lawn.
And that goes for the children, too.
Seriously. I dissolve into the worst version of myself when they don’t get it. Why is that?
Here’s ten lessons learned when I tried to teach them how to ride without training wheels.
1. God can use anything for our personal sanctification. Apparently for me it’s little boys riding two-wheelers.
2. Denial is not an effective coping strategy.We’re in a season of life when bike riding could be enjoyable. But nobody wants to touch those bikes parked in the garage because, holy moly, mom goes nine kinds of crazy when it doesn’t go well. Ignoring the bikes doesn’t make the situation any better.
3. Perception is not reality. Just as I’m not losing it quite as often as I think, their ability to ride is much better than they think.
4. Beth Moore said FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real. Need I say more?
5. The herd mentality is a good thing: now that a certain kindergartener can ride without crashing, there is renewed interest among other members of the “herd”. Just sayin’.
6. The proverbial “when I get knocked down, I get up again” is easier said than done. Once upon a time, when one of the boys wanted to give up, I heard someone proclaim, “We don’t quit!” I looked around and it turns out that someone was me. My, how my words have come back to bite me. Apparently we aren’t quitters. But what about when the grown ups have had enough? It’s hard to model persistence.
7. Dads are better at letting go. While I want to hang on to that bike for dear life, Steve’s much better at giving them a gentle push and letting them ride for real.
8. Not just in this situation, but in many other circumstances, God has revealed to me that I am a CONTROL FREAK. Who knew?
9. There is great joy in watching your children overcome their frustration and achieve success.
10. Celebrating milestones as a family is much sweeter than I imagined. Several nights in a row, we’ve all gone outside after dinner and yelled, cheered, high-fived one another as the boys ride longer and longer without any help.
And guess what? Nobody’s cried, cussed or thrown anything. Not even me.