Skip to main content

Funny, how a bike changes a kid. Last summer, my 6-year-old son learned how to ride a 2-wheeler, and by the time fall came, it got too cold too fast to keep it up. This year, he was back up on the first warm day.

Sometimes I'll just watch him rising. He's very conscientious about his helmet, and he sits up very straight, very focused on balance. He knows he has to go quickly enough to maintain balance but isn't always happy going downhill. Mostly, though, he just likes being able to do what the neighborhood's bigger kids do. He likes, I think, the independence a bike gives him.

A few weeks ago, he announced he wanted to ride to school. Now, it's a good mile away, and there's morning traffic, so I felt the need to do it with him. This isn't easy. Once we're ready for the day (in work/school clothes), we helmet up, climb on, and go. It's about a 10-minute ride. I quickly taught him all about bike locks and all that, and now he wants to ride to school on every pretty morning. In the afternoons, that means I drive home, jump out of the car, don my helmet, and race to school in time to meet him outside. Then ride home again.

Now, you'd think was a pain -- and you might be right. But then this is what happens: about halfway home, my son says, "I love riding with you, dad."

Do I need to tell you how amazing that feels? Whatever's happened during the day, however bad a day at work it might have been, everything melts away. At these moments, it's just my son and me, out for a ride. It's when the whole idea of balancing the job of parenting with its pleasures is as easy as getting up onto 2 wheels.

I keep thinking about how important it is to find (even cultivate) moments like these. It's not that they're so few and far between -- it's just...well, isn't this what we were after when we became parents?

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of strongly encourages our readers to post comments in response to blog posts. We value diversity of opinions and perspectives. Our goals for this space are to be educational, thought-provoking, and respectful. So we actively moderate comments and we reserve the right to edit or remove comments that undermine these goals. Thanks!