Monday, August 6, 2012

Letting Him Fall {Mindful Mothering Mondays}

It started in January, when we offered to buy him a tricycle.

No.  Moose was unequivocal.  He didn't want a tricycle.  He wanted a bicycle.  Like Daddy.

So the Handy Manny bike and Cars helmet found a place in our garage, and Moose set himself to the task of learning to ride - some days with more patience than others.

Then the day came that everything clicked and he "got" it.  And he took off.

The trouble is that he hasn't quite figured out the brakes yet.  He has figured out that he can't pedal backward (like on the tricycle at daycare).  But he hasn't figured out that the obnoxious jolting when he tries to to drive backward is how he is supposed to stop.

Instead, he takes a last-minute turn.  Drives up onto the grass.  Pulls his feet off the pedals altogether.

And each and every time I cringe.  I position myself to grab the handlebar if the bike starts to teeter.  And show him how the brakes work.  Again.  And encourage him try.  Again.

Except today.  I let him fall.

I saw it coming and I let it happen.  He was going slowly.  I knew he wouldn't fall hard.  But in a split second, I decided that he needed to see what would happen when Mommy didn't swoop in at the last second.

There wasn't even a scrape on the skin.  But the look of surprise on his face said it all.  And the next go 'round (yes, he got up and, after some hugs, declared that he wanted to try again), he actually looked at me when I explained the brakes.  He pensively tried them out on a flat part of the cul-de-sac. 

It's such a fine line, isn't it?  We don't want them to be truly injured.  We don't want them to have such a bad experience that they don't want to try again.  But sometimes, I think we need to let them fall so they can figure out for themselves how to make it - all of it, all of life - work for them.

So pleased to be linking up with Lydia again!  Please hop over for more Monday mothering encouragement.

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree with you. I have a little saying I say to myself during moments like there..."if he doesn't fall he won't learn how to get back up again." And he needs to learn how to get back up again.

    Unfortunately my little man took a pretty bad fall on his bike one day with is papa and since then has no interest in getting back on. We have tried a few times, he goes about 50m and then hops off. Hoping by the end of the summer he will be back at it.

    Have a lovely week.