Jump to content
Easy Rider: A Christmas Tale
No replies to this topic
Posted 11 December 2008 - 07:57 PM
By Joseph Kelly
I can still vividly remember my first bike. It was a golden Malvern Star with a dragster seat and sissy bar. I thought it was the coolest piece of equipment I’d ever seen. Since getting that first bike at Christmas before my fourth birthday, until I finished high school some fifteen years later, I don’t think a day went by when I didn’t ride a bike. But it appears as though a love of bike riding hasn’t passed through the genes.
A few Christmases ago, when Maisie was about four, Santa delivered her a bike straight off Cinderella’s parking lot. It had pink highlights, pink streamers screaming from the handlebars and a basket on the front emblazoned with hand painted fairies. Bolted onto the back wheel were two pink training wheels that I figured we’d be rid of in no time, once Maisie got the grasp of basic cycling mechanics. All Christmas day Maisie wouldn’t get off her bike – it looked like the start of a long and beautiful relationship. Until Boxing Day.
My memories of bike riding are only getting rosier as I get older, but I know for a fact that having a bike as a kid gave me a sense of freedom and confidence that has since been unmatched. I don’t think there was a single corner of the town I grew up in that I didn’t reach with my trusty Malvern Star. And I loved the autonomy it gave me in deciding where I would go and when I’d head back home. At four years of age I felt like Peter Fonda in Easy Rider!
So I was very keen to see Maisie start down the path of discovery that having your own transport allows. I was so keen that on Boxing Day I decided to teach her, in one afternoon, all the cycling skills she would need to last her a life time. The pinnacle of this plan was to launch Maisie down a hill and leave her in charge of regulating her speed while also navigating her direction and suppressing her fear. How could anything go wrong?
As soon as we got to the top of the hill and Maisie looked down she began to get worried. “You won’t let go will you daddy?” was all she kept nervously asking me. I explained to Maisie that I would run alongside the bike while she braked and steered and I would be there if anything went wrong. There were two things I didn’t count on: first, a four-year-old on a bike goes very, very fast down hill and secondly, panicked four-year olds do not act calmly and rationally when they find themselves on a run-away bicycle.
The results are, in hindsight, disturbingly predictable. Maisie wasn’t hurt, but her confidence was battered and she had a few “trust issues” with her dad that she needed to workshop on the long walk home. While we were able to iron out our relationship pretty quickly, Maisie’s relationship with her bike has taken a lot longer to mend. For nearly two years now her bike has only seen the outside of the shed a handful of times.
This Christmas, though, we are both two years older. For my part I like to think that I’m more patient and more prepared to let my girls discover things at their own pace. And two years on, Maisie is starting to see the attraction of a bit of independence and has shown some interest in her bike. So, with no pressure from me, Maisie has asked for her bike to come down to the beach with us for the summer. And whether she takes to the bike or not isn’t important. Because on the bike or off, I’m pretty happy for Maisie to be Dennis Hopper (complete with training wheels) to my Peter Fonda.
This is my last blog for this year. Thank you all for your wonderful contribution and feedback throughout the year. I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Christmas and New Year and I'll see you all in 2009.
1 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users
To celebrate the release of children?s musical series Play Along with Sam, out now on DVD, we?re giving one lucky parent the chance to have Sam perform at their child?s pre-school or day care!
A shopping centre escalator needed to be pulled apart to free a toddler's trapped hand.
Is it weird to say that I am secretly thrilled to find that my daughter Edie has nits?
Well, it's actually 13-12-14 to us over here. But still, Clare Elizabeth Keane's consecutive numerical birth time is pretty special.
We can't live in fear. This post is about Christmas and how at this time we should be celebrating life and grateful for what we have: our loved ones who we cherish fiercely.
Everyone will love your baby but your baby may not be so happy to be passed around a lot of new people - nor may you want to feed with an audience.
There are pros and cons to this policy.
Here are a few popular methods hopeful parents-to-be use to try to get a baby of their preferred gender – and what an expert says about whether they really work.
It's officially time to get into the Christmas spirit. Why not branch out when you put up your tree this year and add a personal touch with a few DIY decorations? We've found the perfect easy-to-make ways to put more festive fever into your home.
A dangerous trend is seeing more mothers-to-be declining a relatively simple and painless test to check for gestational diabetes.
The Office of Fair Trading has pulled seven toys from shelves ahead of Christmas after they fail safety tests.
These twin girls will no doubt have fun fooling people in years to come, but nobody will be as confused as baby Landon.
Men could soon have access to an injectable long-term contraceptive which works in a similar way to a vasectomy but promises to be easily reversed.
After bathing and dressing her three-month-old son, Amanda had a rare moment alone with her baby.
I feel that almost every day, someone in my life - be they a friend, family member or complete stranger - feels the need to excuse my behaviour as I have other things on my mind.
A Melbourne mother has described how her son turned grey when he became seriously ill after drinking raw milk.
Modern newlyweds are now well into their 30s and marriage still offers something powerful a new book argues.
In Australia, 30 per cent of women find their birth experience traumatic, with 6 per cent going on to develop post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
A young mum is in intensive care after she took a friend's antibiotic and wound up with an ailment that is burning her body 'from the inside-out'.
If he doesn't change his mind, all I can hope is that I will. It would be a waste to spend the rest of my marriage mourning a baby that never was.
Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.
Top 5 Articles
One mother's futile attempt to sleep in caught on camera in a hilarious - and very cute - video.
While we all like to imagine the holiday season as being a fun, loving and bonding experience; often our reality is quiet different.
The fear of being weighed is the most significant factor in women cancelling medical appointments - and now weight-shaming has happened to me.
As we reach the end of 2014, we're closing the book on many things for another year, most notably childcare. Our last child has attended childcare for the very last time.
Contrary to popular belief, making it past the seven-year mark doesn't mean your marriage will be smooth sailing from there on.
We teach kids it’s okay to say no if they don’t feel safe, so why do some parents force their children to climb in to Santa's lap?
I’m sure that parenting will get harder. But life isn’t exactly smooth sailing for many of us right now, either.
Yes, the bouncing baby girl was born by caesarean section. And mum says no more kids.
I'm the first to admit that when I used to see tiny babies with dummies in their mouths, I thought "Hmm, lazy parenting." And now I apologise.
Imagine meeting your double at a school sports event, or regularly being mistaken for someone you haven't met. Separated twins Margaret and Joy tell their story.
As Sydney grieves the loss of Sydney siege victims Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson, reports have suggested that both died as heroes.
How many weeks til Christmas?
Get the "Santa" shopping done without the kids in tow.