As a parent you may worry about whether or not you’re doing a good job raising your child(ren). I tune in to my children’s conversations. I observe how they interact with each other. I’ve noticed how they speak and behave gives me an indication of what I’m doing right or wrong. Today I will focus on the positives. Today, I saw how supportive they are. How? Well, I’m currently learning to ride a bike. No, I never learnt how to as a child. Ang and Val were so supportive, it melted my heart. They cheered me on all the way with words of encouragement. Somehow, I taught my kids how to be resilient, even if I’m still learning to be that way while riding a bike.
Apprehension & Fear
I’m very careful about most things. I over-think a thing which is why I still can’t drive. People say let go, relax, and don’t think. Well, I don’t know how to do it. Friends were amazed I didn’t know how to ride a bike. For starters, I lived on a hill in a ghetto. Secondly, all the grown-ups were busy at work. Weekends everyone had chores. I had the chance to learn once. I was 10 year old visiting cousins in Texas. My grandmother and I were on holiday there. They offered to teach my but she said no because I might hurt myself. I didn’t persist because I was ‘obedient’.
If I said no to such an opportunity to my children now, they would probably say, ‘its ok mum, I’ll be fine’. I’m teaching them to be brave but careful. I never learnt how to ride a bike but I learnt about apprehension and fear. The generations before had to overcome so much ‘to get by’ that they simply kept their heads down. Furthermore, they passed down that anxiety and ‘carefulness’ to my generation.
They kept us close to keep us safe, so close it was near asphyxiation. It stunted our personal growth, in a sense.
Beyond the Fear
Today, I took my first few tentative steps at riding. I’ve not gone far but I my wheels made a few revolutions. I felt free! It was the type of freedom I’ve only felt in the water. I LOVE to swim. As I type, I’ve had an epiphany. All my life all I ever wanted was to be free. Free to be. I see now freedom is a state of mind. Val said me ‘mum before you start say to yourself, “I can do it” two times, then, do it. Keep the wheels straight and go’. I could hear my own words to her and her brother coming through. She’s 5! She said in such earnest, I really slowly began to feel the fear slip away.
Ang said ‘mum you can do it, just think of My Little Pony and Unicorns and the magic’, bless him. Not sure how the unicorns could help but he made me smile. His belief in magic is sweet.
When I listen to what they say and how they say it, I can tell what they’ve watched or who they’ve been playing with. I hear myself. I hear their dad. I often say they don’t listen. I learnt they do but they apply what they hear in their way. My children are my superpower: My superpower makes do things I never imaged I would do. I believe I can fly… someday I will!