‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Thursday, August 28, 2008

angels on training wheels

Is there anything worse than watching your own daughter ride her bike out into the middle of a road instead of making the turn? And seeing a pickup truck coming toward her? There's this funny thing one's brain does, that makes the scene look like it's shot with a zoom lens and everything's all flattened onto the same plane. Girl. Bike. Truck.

I had checked for traffic and gone ahead of her. I stopped at the side of the road and turned to watch her follow me. Except she didn't. As I was helping her out of the road, while blowing kisses and bowing gratitude to the driver of the truck (who had seen her coming and slowed to a snail's pace), I realized I had my own bike tucked under my arm. I now understand how people can lift cars.

I hugged her and held her and told her over and over "it's okay, you're okay, it's okay" until she finally asked if we could stop this nonsense and please keep riding.

There's a wide bike lane where we were riding, and we could have just filed into it without waiting for traffic. But while part of me registered that, the other part said "let's just wait a second." And that's what we did.

Maybe the driver of the truck did the same thing.

Call it what you will, we are more guided and protected than we realize. May we all hear what we need to hear. And then may we keep riding.


james said...

Bikes are scary!!! Noodle is careening around without training wheels, hell bent and somehow (sort of?) in control. Scariest thing I've ever seen. Makes me proud! It also explains where all the gray hair comes from.

JAbel said...

I am so glad she is okay.Just a second can alter your life.I know because I didn't pay attentionon my bike at 12 the first day of summer vacation and wound up in the hospital for nearly four months.But by luck I ran into the side of a moving car.A second earlier and I would have ridden my bike in front of it.I have permanent leg damage from it and I cringe sometimes when the neighbor kids are riding in circles in our driveway and get close to the street.I really get sick when I read news stories about kids on bikes getting hit.

thefoodsnob said...

Oh, my goodness, I had my heart in my throat as I was reading that!

So glad it all turned out well (proves to me why I'm afraid to let the kids ride on the road.)


Lesha said...

How terrifying. I can't imagine bikes and cars yet. I'm still cringing at a climber who ends up on tables and the thought of him falling that far....*shiver*

I remember once someone telling me that as moms we don't notice the heriocs we accomplish because they become common place. Here's to mom Heriocs and that primitive part of the brain that gets us to where we need to be when we need to be there (lifting cars and bikes and whatever else we need to) to protect our babies.

Susan said...

James - yay for Noodle! I see the bike thing as an analogy for our future as parents. Lots of hiding-face-in-hands action. For now, I'm leaving training wheels on and adding a shark cage.

jabel - EEEEK!

Lisa - I know! I freak out when I'm not within reach and then I think about how I can't always be within reach for everything and my job is really to teach her how to be safe on her own. We're working on turning skills and proper braking procedure in the comfort of our own driveway.

Lesha - CARS! GAH! Good one about the mom-heroics - I'll have to remember that.

Louisa Ferncliff said...

"We're working on turning skills and proper braking procedure in the comfort of our own driveway." And this is the perfect analogy for the many, and many more different kinds of "rides" you will have to teach your children about in coming years, the turns they'll negotiate, the braking procedures you'll eventually trust them to make about their own decisions when you are no longer around to stop the traffic for them. Make the most of your safe "driveway" because the work you do now, counts more than you can realize. :) (parenting TWO middle schoolers is the scariest thing i've done to date)