3 Lessons from My Dad Teaching Me to Ride My Bicycle
“Sometimes, the simple things are more fun and meaningful than all the banquets in the world …” wrote E.A. Bucchianeri in Brushstrokes of a Gadfly. This is true, especially when I think about my father teaching me to ride my bicycle. It was a simple, yet powerful act that continues to reverberate.
Everyone else in the family knew how to ride, but I did not. I tried on my own in the yard. Friends tried to help, but I still could not ride this bicycle that my parents had given me, until . . .
One day, my father came home. He told me to get my bicycle and then he took me to a quiet side street. I got on the bicycle. He walked, steadying me by holding the back of the saddle. The next thing I knew, I was riding my bicycle! I was excited and so was my dad. He was so proud. I could see it on his face.
Here are the three lessons:
My father was busy, to put it mildly. He had not been present for most of my bicycle riding attempts. Imagine my surprise when he told me to get my bike and he would teach me to ride it. I had not realized that he was noticing what was happening with me and my bike. Certainly, I had not expected him to have the time to teach me. But, what exactly did he notice?
Well he not only noticed that I had not yet learned to ride. He also saw that I really wanted to be able to ride and that what I was doing was not working. Even though he was busy, he was aware of what was
Regardless of how busy you are, take the time to notice what is happening around you. Moreover, learn what people tell you through their actions, as well as their words. This must be true especially when it comes to the people with whom you are connected.
Not only did my father notice my inability coupled with my desire to ride the bicycle, he acted. He said, “Let’s go.”
One of the things that stands out in my memory was that my father was well dressed at the time. He had come home and before he turned to do anything else, he took me out to learn to ride the bicycle. Not only was it important to me. It was also important to him.
There are times when the best time to act is now. Do not delay. Act on your observations expeditiously. You will also show that what you have
seen is important to you, by your action.
We were both overjoyed when I started actually riding. I was ecstatic. “Daddy! I can ride!” This thing with which I had been struggling had happened. It was my father who had taught me, though others had tried. My father, for his part, was beaming with pride and joy. We went back home in high spirits.
If he had not noticed, if he had noticed but not acted we would not have experienced that joy. Sure, I would have learned to ride eventually, one way or another. But we would have missed that moment together.
Action that follows noticing has results. You will always experience a level of joy.
Dads, be sure that you are noticing what is happening with your children. Act on what you see. Experience the joyous moments.
At a broader level, as you go through life, be observant. Be aware of what people need. Act. Experience joy.
What are some life lessons you carry from memorable times with your dad?
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