Friday, October 14, 2011

take off

Sir O appears to be the type who needs to do things on his own terms.  Try to push him against his grain and you confront a litany of undesirably behaviors. But when he's good and ready to tackle something, he does it with bravado and utter thoroughness.

nothing can stop him

And so it was that after 2 miniature attempts at teaching him to ride a bicycle in July, we had consigned ourselves to leaving the training wheels untouched and assumed that we'd be waiting to tackle that one until next spring.

But wait.
 Sir O was busy changing his mind behind our backs.  After watching (apparently with tremendous power of observation) the neighbor kids zip up and down the street on their bikes (and his best friend in particular), Sir O talked himself into riding his bike right now, in a matter of hours on an October Monday afternoon.

He insistently asked his dad to take off his training wheels, because he knew how to ride it now.  He'd been watching, and with him that means something.  Mr Renn and I were in the thick of a sticky grape juicing endeavor, and by the time Renn made it into the garage, Sir O had already found a wrench and removed one training wheel.

By the time the second training wheel was off, Sir O was so ready and bound and determined that Mr Renn was beginning to worry about fallout if this didn't go well.  But, as we should have expected, Sir O is ready when he's ready.  And as soon as he was propped up and pedaling, he took off on his own.  No training or coaxing or "don't let go" dramatics.  Just one inimitable son living life on his own terms.  Renn hollered me out of  the kitchen and as soon as I had documented the miracle of Sir O and the bicycle, I scolded them all for the lack of helmet and returned to tend the grape juice.

nothing can stop him

In the meantime, Sir O has spent every possible moment floating like a speedy spirited bird up and down the street.  (With helmet)  I'm always torn between being proud of his spirited accomplishment, and worried that his headstrong ways will be the source of unimaginable future angst.  He is what he is; he came the way he came.  I can only do what I can, which is inevitably inadequate and broken.  I have to place my will and my wish for control in regards to his little body and large spirit on an altar and watch them burn and blow away.  I have to trust that God knows better than me what will reign in all this zeal and steam and refine it into something divine.  And I have to ask God to keep his bike aright as he begins to flit and dart and turn in hair-raising ways.  I'll be diligent about the helmets, and pray.

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