Life Lessons from One of Parenthood’s Happiest Milestones
“I’m doing it, Daddy! I’M DOING IT!”
So cried our six-year-old daughter as she glided across the yard on her bike for the first time this week.
Her feet pedaling hard against the mini-mogul bumps in our yard; her laser-like gaze over the handlebars screaming of focus and determination; her smile giving the afternoon sun a run for its money as it shined brightly against her red face, flush from the heat of the day. I stood back, leaning against the garden shovel in my hand and just beamed. A flood of memories from the past six years of her life washing over me in an instant.
Watching your kids learn how to ride a bike is a right of passage for most parents. It falls somewhere in-between the first day of school, losing their first tooth and getting their driver’s license. At this age, there seem to be so many firsts that it’s tough to keep track. But you do. You’re able to put aside all that adults things running through your mind and find that little nook of space in your being to just take it all in; to explore the overwhelming feelings of love and admiration for new insights into your own being. Such events ground you in what it means to live simply and deeply each day.
Watching your kids learn how to ride a bike also brings into focus life lessons that we as adults seem to so readily forget as we go about our grown-up lives. Wrapped into all the encouragement we’re passing along to our kids as they struggle to keep their balance and momentum are really important guideposts for how we should be living our own lives. Watching my daughter this past weekend really brought these things info focus:
- Try new things — even if they are a bit scary at first.
- Determination is worth its weight in gold.
- It’s OK to fall down sometimes as long as we get back up.
- Being in the moment is where the greatest joy lies.
- Sometimes, a bit of forward momentum is all you need to accomplish your goal.
- Never hesitate to express genuine and heart-felt appreciation to someone you love.
- Approach everything with the eyes and heart of a child.
It sounds so simple. So easy. Why then do we so-called ‘grown-ups’ seem to lose this innate ability for living life to the fullest?
I think it comes back to every single thing you and I know as adults. All the things that go into our day-to-day existence: responsibility, accountability, making ends meet, working, paying bills, raising a family (if you have one). Or even the societal demands pushed upon us by our culture of consumerism: fitting in, must haves (and wouldn’t-be-caught-dead-having), getting ahead at any cost, selfishness, greed, superficial competitiveness of all sorts.
Maybe we all should just stop and watch a kid learn how to ride a bike every now and again. Maybe then we’ll reconnect with that innate thing that is more powerful than anything our lives can throw at us.
If you’ve enjoyed this post, please consider sharing it with your circle via Facebook or Twitter. You can also subscribe to receive future posts for free. While you’re here, you might also like to check out these:
- Mindfulness: 37 Everyday Places You Can Practice Enjoying the Moment
- What Three Days In the Wilderness Will Teach You About Life
- The Door-Opening Power of Reconnecting With What You Love(d)