Like Riding a Bike

Beth's mom recently sent us a check that was part of what she gets for being on the school board. We used it to get the boys some new bikes. They've been using hand me downs, which were fine, but they were a bit hard for the boys to peddle. So we tried out some new ones in stores and found one that was easy for Anders to peddle--and it happened to be on sale. Beth found a trike for Nils that had the peddles and just the right distance for his legs (most of them he's actually to small for and can't reach). We outfitted it with an broom handle so that we can push him as needed.

The first day we took them down to the basketball court to ride around, Anders just rode around smiling the whole time. He wanted to play a game of him chasing me on the bike while I run around trying to get away from him. He's still on training wheels, but he's doing well.

Until we get off the flat basketball court. Then he loses confidence and gains fear. We went for a walk/ride around the lake yesterday. I fought to keep my patience as Anders kept stopping and refusing to go further. The pathway was too bumpy, too hilly and too close to the lake. I tried to reassure him that I was there, that he's been doing a good job--I even tried to talk logic to him that I wouldn't let anything bad happen to him (like him riding into the lake). It came down to me just needing to push him and stand by him, while Nils rode on by himself, fearless.

I feel like Beth and I are reassuring, confidence-building parents. We try to encourage the boys rather than tear them down (Nils can give high fives, fist bumps and thumbs-up in response to what we do to him). I'm not sure where from Anders has developed this lack of confidence in himself. He knows the Veggie Tales mantra "God made you special, and He loves you very much." For several years he's been singing the Veggie Tales song, "God is bigger than the boogie man, he's bigger than Godzilla and the monsters on TV. God is bigger than the boogie man, and He's watching over you and me." Yet, it hasn't sunk in fully. He has doubts in himself.

He probably gets it from me. I struggle with my identity sometimes. I forget that I'm a child of God, and evaluate myself by the world's standards--by which I usually fall short. I get down on myself; I become insecure.

I can ride a bike, though. I sometimes fall off, but I know I can get back on and keep going. So I must remind myself of who I am in God. Sometimes forget and falter, but God's love for me never changes. I will always be the apple of His eye. I will always be His child. And with that in mind, I can press on down the path in front of me, not having to be afraid or insecure but able to journey on in confidence.


Alaina Beth said...

This is really a fabulous little reflection on life, love, and children. It also makes me think about nature/nurture. I wonder how much is Anders and Nils differences in personality...that little Nils is fearless!

Enjoy bike riding - I've been hoping to get out, but like Anders, I'm afraid I'll get hit by a car in Chicago!

Sue@GraceCorner said...

Dave, it's possible that Anders is just now old enough to grasp that bad things really could happen to him and that you may not always be able to protect him. I noticed that all 3 of my girls suddenly developed new anxieties and hesitancies around age 5. They didn't trust so blindly anymore because they were aware on a new level. It's part of growing up and helps temper an otherwise dangerous naivete.

Ariah said...

great stuff. Thanks for sharing all of that.