The helmet made you look like an expert, geared up for your Tour de Neighbourhood. Your happy/anxious chatter filled my ears as we headed out to face the day’s challenge and adventure. Determined, lips pursed in concentration, we began my marathon training…I mean, your two-wheel bike riding trials. Gain speed, pedal those little legs, balance, DO NOT shoulder check – I am right here, steer. And again. Over and over we worked it together and, incrementally, I would loosen my grip and tighten at the first sign of wobble. Loosen, wobble, grip, return to safety.
So today when you started your request with “What would you think about… ” I wanted to go back there. Back to when I could keep you safe just by tightening my grip. But you had to be so mature, opening a discussion, willing to perspective take…who taught you that anyway?? It was easier when you asked for cotton candy before supper. No. That was all. Just no. Now I have to be all grown up and consider this calmly.
You want to know if you can drive to K-Town with three friends from here, to visit your pals who are at university there. Sounds straightforward.
Let’s see? You could die. Repeat first point. You could make a driving error that results in injury or death to your friends, which would be terrible for them and terrible for you. And terrible for me, because this calm consideration does involve me having all manner of horrible and extreme possible disasters befall you, beyond the obvious. But the realities are sobering enough.
If When you get there, you will be on a campus with thousands of other raucous young people on the weekend before Halloween. I don’t expect you will encounter much studying. Bahaha. It will be mad partying. You could die. Repeat first point…
Ok, ok. Alright. I will follow the rules of reason. But I don’t like it, just saying. You’re a very good driver. You’ve acknowledged the risks one by one, and the responsibilities. Any driver could die on a four hundred series highway. The friends you’ve chosen are reasonable. Your sister is there. You party here and manage the risks, so you know those regardless of place. You could die here. (sheesh, there is a lot of dying possibility even on the reasons to say yes list) You’ve just finished your first college mid-terms with impressive marks and you miss your buddies. It’s not winter yet. Your sister was on the other side of the world at your age. Bazinga. You also deserve the dignity of risk.
But 4oo series highways move fast. And look at what happened to your face when you crashed your bike
all those times, I mean that one time that was a complete fluke? I have a fleeting image of myself running beside the car repeating the “loosen, wobble, grip” approach. That I would even think of that is alarming, if amusing. Holy ambivalence Batman! I want to say yes, but the risks are real.
Then I get the clearest picture in my mind. I’m running beside your small bicycle, having waited for just the right moment. I’ve let go, and you’ve noticed. Your face lights with pleasure and absolute joy. “I’m doing it Mom! By myself. I’m doing it”! Yes you are, my love. You really are. That was only the first of many “seats” we let go so you could go ahead by yourself. And you are really doing it beautifully. By yourself. With us watching and cheering you on, and praying that we did enough trials together that you can return yourself to safety if things get wobbly.
PS. Now DO remember to shoulder check. I’m not right there this time.
So, friends, what would YOU think about it?