I’ve been gone for a while. Clearly I am not going to win any blog prizes if I can only manage to write a post a year. My lack of posting should not be construed as a lack of parenting. Being in Seminary kind of takes it all out of me so that whenever I do have what might be known as “free time” (an oxymoron to any parent, let alone graduate student), all I can manage is to sit like a lump in front of my television catching up on my favorite recorded shows. Often I fall asleep before the show is over. It took me 3 nights to get through the last episode of Elementary (still a favorite Lucy Liu, don’t take it personally).
This weekend, however, I found my second wind–a burst of energy after finishing a major paper on the treatment of the poor and poverty in the wisdom literature of the Hebrew Scriptures–riveting, I KNOW. You’ll just have to reign in your excitement, I’ll tell you all about it some other time as I am now an expert on the subject after days buried in the library. But back to my free time second wind . . .
Not only did we do some cleaning out of the bike shop that had accumulated in our backyard and gave away 4 bikes to the Burbank Bike Angels, but I grabbed my 8 year old and his “new” bike (thank you to our dear friends with a 10 year old) and said, “C’mon, let’s go learn how to ride this thing without the training wheels.” Luckily he was game so off we went down the sidewalk fully equipped with helmet, elbow and knee pads (his idea).
I felt childhood flashbacks as I held on to the back of his seat rattling off all the motivational instructions I could manage while running alongside him. “You can do this, it’s all about balance, just like riding your scooter. Don’t worry about your feet, trust that they’ll know where to go. It is more important to look ahead of you and steer. You’re doing it! You’re doing great!” And after a momentary meltdown, “This is only the first day, don’t be so hard on yourself. This is fun! It takes practice, you’ll get the hang of it.” And of course the ever famous, “Once you learn how to ride a bike, you’ll never forget.” Hence the age old wisdom of picking up an old sport/hobby/activity or learning a new one, “It is just like riding a bike!” Ha! Easier said then done.
I have clear memories of riding a rented bike in Holland teetering all over the place and hopping off and nearly crashing every time I wanted to stop because my feet wouldn’t touch the ground. I had a few momentary meltdowns myself.
Once I got home and and recovered from the huffing and puffing of running alongside him all the way down the block and back (the most exercise I’ve had in months), I thought about my motivational, bike-riding sermon. Not bad advice. Advice to which a fourth-year seminarian about ready to graduate might want to listen. Pretty solid advice for anyone embarking on a new journey (or continuing on an old one) . . .
You can do this.
Trust that your feet will know where to go.
Focus on looking ahead and steering yourself where you want to go.
You’re doing great!
It takes practice, you’ll get the hang of it.
Don’t be so hard on yourself.
Remember, this is supposed to be fun.
It is just like riding a bike!
Breathe. May it be so.
just a quick shout out to my fellow seminarian, parent, blogger, Jordinn who inspired me to start this thing again! Check out her blog: