Saturday, February 19

letting go

Warm weather came early the last three days,
so we pulled the bikes out of the shed.
The training wheels came off of my middle son’s bike last September,
but he wasn’t very interested in learning to ride it.
So the past three days, I have been running
up and down our street holding on
to the back of his coat while he tries to stay balanced on his bike.
As I am running along side of him,
keeping him from certain contact with the pavement,
I am coaching him and reassuring him that he will get it little by little.

(This explains my angry back muscles)

On Wednesday,
gravity and fear had the best of him.
I saw a glimmer of hope.
And today,
today he got it!
I let go.

As painful as it is for mothers to let go of their little boys,
I was more proud than anything!
The smile on his face was priceless!
After riding up the street by himself he said,
“I like doing it with out any help!”

Isn’t that the goal of parenting?

I clearly remember the day I got it!

My father took my two older brothers and sister to the school blacktop near our house and off they went on their bikes. I really wanted to learn how to ride like them. I wanted to go fast without my training wheels too. My father took the training wheels off of my bike and patiently held the back of my bike as I peddled my little legs as fast as I could. I remember hearing his voice with his instructions behind my head as I concentrated on not falling.

Then I remember looking over my shoulder and looking behind me.

My father was not holding on to the back of my bike keeping me safe and steady, he was far away standing there smiling.

He let go.

I was doing it all by myself.

I think that is the hardest part of parenting,

knowing when to let go.

But isn’t that the goal of parenting?

Will our children fall and get hurt?


Will we be able to catch them each time?


Is it important to let our children experience painful life lessons?


Will they learn and grow through painful life lessons?

Yes, and no.

We hope so.

Sometimes it takes a couple falls to learn.

Sometimes it takes years.

I do know that the more we rescue

the longer it takes for them to learn.

We aren’t meant to hold on to the back of their bikes for the rest of their lives.

As parents, we are to teach them life skills,

and live a life of character,

so that when they fall,

they get back up,

wipe themselves off and try again and again.

At some point, we are to let go,

stand on the sidelines and cheer them on,

so they can look over their shoulder

proudly and say,

“I am doing it!”

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