Sometimes life has strange timing. A few days ago I saw a commercial that was talking about childhood milestones that parents never miss, like their child taking their first step and watching them ride a bicycle without training wheels for the first time. I remember thinking, not for the first time, that I taught myself to ride a bicycle when I was a kid. My mother was too busy having an affair with a man who was married to her cousin (yes you read that correctly). Anyway, we’ve all seen that cliché scene of a parent holding the seat of their child’s bike, pushing them along and then letting them go and running along side their child cheering as they ride the bike on their own, boo frickety hoo. So, today, I hear a little girl playing outside and I look out the window and what do I see? Queue sappy music: a father teaching his daughter to ride her bike. Oh the irony, ha! And, let me tell you, it was CLASSIC. She had a little purple/pinkish helmet on and he did exactly what they show on the movies, right down to running along side her. They kept trying and she would get a little farther each time and then fall over. Check this out, she would fall over and cry and he would help her up, reassure her and ask her if she wanted to try again. She would sniff and nod her head and then run back to her bike ready to try again. It got even worse, because she had a little sister who wanted to be like her and so their dad would let the younger one pretend to ride the bike while her sister got ready to try again. At one point, the older girl fell over again and cried and the dad gave her a hug and her little sister came over and put one arm around her and one arm around their dad and hugged them both. And no, I’m not kidding. unbelievable. My reaction to this scene was a little confusing. I couldn’t stop watching and my first thought was that I would make sure that the father didn’t do anything inappropriate while “teaching” her. I felt jaded because that was my first thought. Then as I watched this scene unfold, I couldn’t stop thinking that it must be a setup. Nothing could look like the movies, it was to sweet and nice. I kept thinking that at any moment the father would get angry at the daughter for falling and he would yell at her or hit her, but that didn’t happen. Then I started wondering if the dad was upset that he had two daughters instead of a son. I thought it was impossible that he could actually be as happy as he looked teaching his daughter to ride a bike. Life is not like that. I thought that he must hate it and he was just pretending. I held on to that one. As I watched to girl get better at riding the bike each time she tried, I actually found myself cheering for her, silently saying, “You can do it” in my mind and I was happy for her the first time she managed to ride down the sidewalk without falling over. I wondered if that was the way things are supposed to be. Of course I know that real-life is not like this but I wondered if some people’s lives are kind of nice? I don’t know. I know that I always felt like a pathetic loser when I was a kid because I had to figure out how to ride a bike on my own and no one wanted to teach me. I think it’s because the media tells us that the whole bike-riding thing is a “milestone” for a child and their parents. Of course the media lies, so why would that be true? Huh, I wasn’t intending on making this a “poor me” post and yet, here we are.
Anyway, I’ve apparently lost the point of this post so I will end it here haha 🙂