For those who missed it, I was the crazy bike riding mom yelling “YEAH!! YOU GOT THIS” with a huge smile on my face and tears streaming from my eyes last night.
My 6 year old daughter just recently learned to ride her bike without training wheels. She wants to ride EVERYWHERE now and we try to accommodate, but when we do we have to recognize that it will be taking us an additional :30 mins to our final destination. There’s a lot of stop, start, curb, car, peddle finding, car, curb, falling etc… you remember.
So when my daughter asked if she could ride to dinner my doomsday champion (you know that little voice that knows everything thing that can go wrong and gives you a pat on the back when you are correct?) Well, she was dusted off and prepared to share. I was getting ready to remind my daughter that she would have to ride all the way there and then she’d still have to ride home. That I was not going to carry her bike, that she would have to ride the whole way. That it was going to take forever not to mention “The Hill”. The Hill. The same hill that she fell down and skinned her knee on as she rode triumphantly to the Pride Parade. And the same hill that on the way home, my husband had to carry her bike because it was too hard to ride up.
But I didn’t, you guys. I was able to separate myself from doomsday champion and be there for my daughter as mom. I chose to trust, whatever the outcome, my daughter was strong enough to navigate it. My husband and I flanked her sides as we all rode down the middle of the street. We assured her she could just focus on riding and we would keep an eye out for cars. As we approached The Hill, she stopped nervously. She reminded me what happened the last time she took on this hill. She showed me the exact spot that the dreaded incident happened. I told her she would have to be willing to get hurt if she wanted to ride a bike. I told her to take a deep breath; she told me she was scared. I told her that it was fine to be scared and she could still do it. Then I waited there with her in silence.
Before coaching (B.C.) sitting in silence with her would have felt fucking impossible. I would have just talked her head off either trying to give her confidence or perhaps tough love. This has been something I’ve worked on the past 8 months...silence. I have deep wish for people to see their greatness. I find so much beauty and possibility in others, it was challenging to not vomit rainbows and unicorns of encouragement. I’m now present to how this is my way of fixing, managing and controlling others experience and feelings. That is not my job, that’s not my wish. I don’t believe we need fixing, or managing and definitely not controlling. So, I’ve been learning to lean back. To recognize my own power in holding space, managing my own expectations and relationship results. I have to remind myself that I can do everything “right” and my children are still going to have their falls. Knee pads, helmets, elbow pads can protect their bodies, but our heart, mind and spirit cannot be protected. So the best I can do as a mother sometimes is to stand by her in her power and choice. Work the muscle that allows her to build self trust.
I just sat there and waited till she was ready. Then down she went and as she gained speed she started saying to herself, “I'm a little bit scared, but I can do it. I’m a little bit scared, but I can do it”. She just repeated that all the way down. You guys…I was so proud! She made it all the way to the restaurant. And on the way home she hit a curb and was thrown over her bike…BUT SHE GOT BACK ON! When we got back to The Hill I told her at the top of the hill and at home, there was a reward. She rode to the top of the hill all the way home with fury, fire and passion. There was chocolate waiting for her at home. Chocolate, the great motivator.
The best part was seeing how proud she was of herself. I was feeling all the feels of gratitude, of love, pride, and fulfillment. I was so grateful that I was able to be with her, in my essence. That I sat back and let the rainbows and unicorns shoot from her, not me. That I can share these moments with my family and be full of love is an absolute gift.
THINGS WE LIKE TO RIDE WITH…