Friday, July 8, 2011

like riding a bike.

We asked the boys why they think it is that they are excellent listeners when we're out doing things, but can't seem to do anything we ask when we're at home. (It's obnoxious.)

Basically, the conversation brought us to the conclusion that they are unsure about themselves when we are out, feeling a sense of the potential danger in the unknown, and they look to us for guidance. At home, however they are comfortably confident and believe that they do not need us (except to grant them their every desire).

We told them, "home is safe, yes, but it is where we learn to be good people." We explained further, "you need to listen to us at home, not because you might get hit by a car if you don't, but because you need to learn kindness, compassion, work, and other valuable character traits."

It is really hard being parents. Half of the time we don't even know why it is we are doing the things we do. Throw in highly inquisitive children and it can be a frustrating mess to try and feel like anything we are doing is less than ridiculous.

Teaching kids to ride bikes is a lot harder than I thought it would be, and that's one of those straight-forward things with basic methods and all that jazz. Who knew it would be so irritating when they try to petal backwards, over and over again. Or when they stop and can't get themselves going again. Do you push them to get them on the road again, or do you let them grunt for five minutes while the other kids whine? I do both, depending on my mood. Gosh, this is tough (especially while pregnant).

Thanks dad, for teaching me to ride a bike. I'm sorry to say that I don't remember learning, but there are pictures for proof and I can ride today, so I know it happened. Sometimes I get a little sad when I think about the fact that my kids probably won't remember anything from this past four years of incredible joy and triumph.

At least there will be a ton of pictures for their adult selves to look back on.

They may not remember how hard it was for them to learn to be kind and loving, or to work toward worthy goals in these early years. But hopefully it will all just be a natural part of their human interaction. Easy.

Like riding a bike.


Kathy said...

They may not consciously remember everything, but the experience and love and time, etc... is being embedded deep into their hearts. Like an invisible knot of love, it will keep them close to you - forever. Don't ever think differently. You are amazing!

Bridget said...

Your writing is so creative and inspired. I love your clever conclusions!

joolee said...

i can't recall where, but i've heard before that "our future is their past". so true. when i think of the future, my children are in it - being baptized, as teenagers, as college students...but those things for me will always be their "past" for them. their childhood and fond memories. or things they won't remember, like you said. riding a bike, helping them get dressed, holding their hands while out walking...i agree. i don't think they'll remember those things. but hopefully they'll just remember it was a good childhood. :)