Ride On

While “good parenting” is generally subjective, there are several critical touch-points that must be imparted from father to son. Without them a parent’s whole raison d’etre is put into question. These hallmarks include, but are not limited to, teaching your son how to throw a baseball, swim in the deep end, not fear dogs, and ride a bike.

On this last point I’ve failed miserably and I feel terribly guilty about it. My boys can’t ride their bikes. I could blame it on the fact that we have a steep driveway that leads down to a busy road. They also haven’t showed much interest in learning. But the bottom line is I’ve waited too long and it’s only going to make it tougher for them.

On Saturday I took the training wheels off and we went to a baseball field. Someone suggested this is a good place for kids to learn — the infield is flat and the dirt is soft. So we’ve finally started the process. I held on most of the time while encouraging them to get used to pedaling. There were a few seconds where I let go but then grabbed back ahold of the bike as it started to go down.

I kept thinking about the gospel passage for the next day — the one where Peter takes a few steps on the water toward Jesus but then gets distracted by the storm and begins to sink. Of course I didn’t work that into the sermon since I’d already written it and didn’t feel like revisiting it. Next time.

So we’re going to need to spend some more time on this before school starts. My goal is to have them riding by September. We’ll see — there’s going to be a whole lotta complaining and frustration in the meantime. And I’m talking mostly about myself.

As for motivation? I’ve told Zack he won’t be able to get that motorcycle he craves without first learning to ride a bike.


3 Comments on “Ride On”

  1. Fr. Patrick Ward says:


    I can remember as if it was yesterday ( and it wasn’t, by the way) the exhiliration of my first time soloing on a bike without the training wheels.
    What a sense of power and accomplishment. It was a grand feeling.
    Keep up the good work.


  2. Father Tim says:

    Thanks — and I look forward to the first ride on my new Vespa (when and if I can wear Bryna down on the topic).

  3. Dorothee says:

    We taught all of our boys to ride on a grassy hill. The grass creates nice drag, the hill helps with momentum, and the inevitable landing is soft! Do stay far away from your driveway though!

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