Steer Straight & Keep Pedaling

bike wheel

Last month, when the weather warmed up, I pulled Jalen’s bicycle out of hibernation in the garage. She was ecstatic – until she noticed that I’d removed her training wheels.

 

“Daddy, where are the little wheels?”

“They’re gone, babe. You’re 5 now. You don’t need them anymore.”

“No, Daddy; I do! I can’t ride without them. Will you please put them back?”

“Nope, it’s time. You can do it. Here – I’ll help you.”

 

Much whining commenced, but in the end, she relented and got up on her bike to try. I assumed the position that every parent has found themselves at some point. Left hand on the handle bars, right hand under the seat – trying to run sideways as fast as I could. And when I couldn’t keep up, I gave her a push. “You’re doing it! Keep going!”

 

It was a beautiful sight…for about 3 seconds…and then she crashed…hard. I coaxed her back up a few times, but it always ended as it had begun – Jalen on the ground, scraped up, crying and working on a new bruise. When she’d had enough, she stood up, defeated, left her bike where it landed and began walking home.

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Step Away From The Hammer

 

My Dad could build anything. He wasn’t just handy. He could create almost anything you could dream up, be it a piece of furniture, a home to put it in, or a skyscraper. It all seemed to be the same kind of easy for him. He’d say, “It’s just a box. It’s just a matter of how fancy you want your box to be.’’ Of course, anyone looking on could see the truth. He was a master.

 

Growing up with Superman wasn’t easy. It was actually kind of painful for a kid like me. For whatever natural ability he had, I had an equal and opposite clumsiness. My lack of skills made me hesitant to try and afraid to fail… until one day when I was in eighth grade.

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A Lesson In Just About Everything

I accidentally learned one of the most valuable lessons of my life one regular day when I was fifteen.

 

My dad had just gotten back from the bank, and was removing the cash he’d withdrawn from an envelope.  As he counted out five one hundred dollar bills, I jokingly snatched one away and took off.  He said, “Boy, you better get back over here with my money.”  I returned, but held out the bill just beyond his reach.  He looked at me and knowingly smirked as he reached out to take it.

 

Of course, I jerked my hand away.  “Finders keepers,” I told him.  “It’s mine now.”

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