Today was the day.
We've piddled around in the driveway, run down the sidewalk, practiced in the garage....but today was the day that the girls learned to ride their bikes.
I'm a little embarrassed to admit that they're already in Kindergarten and 2nd Grade and still couldn't ride their bikes, but it just kind of went under the radar in the myriad of things a parent is responsible for teaching a kid. The other deterrent has been that one of our children is a perfectionist. When she couldn't do it perfectly the first time, she had little interest in trying it again.
But today we had decided we would let nothing stop us...not crying, not whining, not skinned knees or the curious stares of the neighbors. We headed down the street to the daycare's empty parking lot, started at the top of a very modest decline, and gave them a push.
Here's what transpired:
fear - "I don't want to try"
1st attempt - "It's hard!!"
2nd attempt - whining, and the beginning of tears..."But you didn't push me fast enough!"
3rd attempt - more tears, "My sister is in the way!!"
4th attempt - "I don't want to learn to ride my bike"
Okay, at this point, this child is practically riding her bike by herself. I know that if she rides for 10 more minutes, she'll have it....but she's crying and going limp and they beekeeper who's working in his yard next door in full bee-keeping garb with smoke coming out of the bee houses is watching what's going on and I tell my daughter she can't stop trying and she has to take 2 more trips down the parking lot.
I hate that feeling. I hate being the parent who forces their child to do something hard even though they're already miserable. But I know that if they do it, they'll feel amazing when they're done. I know that they have to get past the miserable part so they will have enough confidence to do it again.
I'm aware of how cheesy this analogy may be.....but as I was standing there in the middle of the parking lot, I was struck by how familiar this picture is in my life, especially with GOd....how I complain, blame God, blame others, give up, throw a fit, have a pity party......and I wonder if God hates that feeling, too, when he has to just give me a shove and push me through it? I wonder if he's tempted to say "suck it up and quit your whining....you'll thank me later!" Okay, probably not.....
They were covered with sweat and dirt and scrapes and cuts.....and they both smiled at bedtime when we told them how proud we were of our two super-bike-riders!!