Giving a scooter = letting go


We got excited to see a good deal on a bike and a scooter, so we bought both of them in May.

The kid took two days to get his bearings on the scooter and was cruisin’ the streets on the third day. Our house is next to a street 2-blocks long with a 30-degree incline from our end.

He had scooted there before, alongside me. He loves scooting downhill. Who wouldn’t with a newly developed skill on the scooter?

Having walked the neighborhood for nearly 2 hours, we headed back home and he looked up at me and asked if he could try scooting downhill the 2-block long street. After a short internal deliberation, I said yes. I was sure he will make plenty of stops in between.

Except that he didn’t. As he rolled down farther away from me, I started walking then switched to jogging to brisk walking to running to running like mad, yelling one after another asking him to stop.

At some point, I saw him with his back on me really set on his goal, except that he didn’t tell me what that was and at this point I didn’t exactly know what he was trying to do. Will he stop when he reaches the end? Of course he will. I hope he will. Well, lately he hasn’t been very keen on having us hold his hand when we cross streets.

He didn’t even look back or slowed down. It wasn’t like he was riding down very fast, but fast enough for me as a parent running after her child on his new scooter like a pro and failing to catch up.

I was scared. I was hoping that the street at the other end will have no form of traffic. Briefly, I saw a vision of me regretting not following him from the beginning. There was numbness but only for a moment.

He reached the other end using the scooter’s rear brake. He hopped off it, raised his arms, punching air a few times and yelled “I DID IT!!!”. From afar, I saw pride and accomplishment. I could play the scene again and again in my head, in slow motion with confetti, because that’s how I saw him savor his moment. Isn’t that one of those moments that I wanted for him? Something that he worked hard for and got the courage to try?

Letting go is easy to say but takes so much out of a parent to do. I don’t know now if telling me what he had wanted to achieve would make a difference. I probably would’ve run downhill with him if he had told me. That would probably kill the joy for him. But he’s only 3 years old!

He scooted back towards me. Did you see that, Mama? Still huffing, I congratulated him and hugged him. I let him talk about his accomplishment, I allowed myself to be excited about it. After a few minutes on our way back home, I talked about me feeling scared about his latest achievement making sure I didn’t spoil the joy.

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