Saturday, February 26, 2011

Life is like Riding a Bike

This is Random. Yes, Random. He's named after his father's sense of humor...or it's the only name we could agree on...or he's somewhat named after his one-of-a-kind uncle, Randy. Pick whichever story you prefer. Regardless, this kid's a genius. He'll either be a phenomenal architect or an advanced engineer of some kind. He's teaching me new things every day.

So I took him out to ride a bike. First time. After explaining the three necessary functions of successful bike riding (pedaling, steering and balance) he hopped on. Coordination is difficult for a 4 year old. He kept reversing the pedals and bringing us to a dead halt.

Finally I pulled him off the "machine" as he called it
(--sometimes this kids astounds us with his comprehension--), and lifted the tire off the ground so he could see that when we pushed the pedals the bike would work.

Back on the bike he went, but he was too fascinated with the chain to do any pedaling. Again he hopped off. We examined the chain and gears until he was 100% satisfied he knew exactly what made that bike tick. Then after a successful circle of the driveway we retired to our air-conditioned home.

In life we hop on the bike just like Random, trusting the education and authorities we've known. For most things (parenting, writing a book, executing a surgery), no amount of classroom experience can adequately prepare us for what's coming. Life hits hard. We fall down. Occasionally we need to climb off that bike and reevaluate what makes things tick. The problem may be our outlook on life, based on the patterning we've received. (Or understanding how the gears really work.) It may be how we're pedaling. (Or back pedaling.) And sometimes we need help, someone to hold the handlebars while we get the feel.

No matter how discouraging or how many times you have to try again, do it. The process may be painful, but the joy comes in that final ride.


  1. Brilliant! And so true! And yeah, sounds like you have a young engineer on your hands. I just happen to know a good school for that... ;)

  2. Very true. I have a tiny little engineer at home, too, and she makes me re-examine the world in completely different ways. It's a real gift.

  3. I love that name - Random. :D Thanks for the insight, it's most definitely true! Whenever I'm stuck, I'm going to have to get off the bike and figure out why everything is working the way it is.

  4. Su--I'll have to follow up with you in about...uh...twelve years or so.

    Claire--aren't they though?

    Madeline--only a writer would name their kid Random. =) Or two writers to be more specific.

  5. So true! And Random is an awesome name.

  6. Aw, that's such a cute name! And I'm so with you on getting back on the bike!!!



  7. Love this. Thanks for sharing such a fun story.


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