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
Celebrity mum-to-be Sonia Kruger has spoken candidly about using donor eggs and IVF to fall pregnant at age 48.
When it comes to getting dressed, my three-year-old has only one criterion: ?I don?t want to look beautiful.? And now I've worked out why.
Angel Baby Nappies make and provide tiny bereavement cloth nappies for pre-term stillborn babies and premature babies who pass away in the NICU.
What's going on in your child's mind in the lead-up to a tantrum? And what?s the best way to respond?
When it comes to keeping your relationship strong, it?s what you do - and not what you want - that really matters.
I am obsessed with my dogs, and can't imagine loving them any less once my baby arrives. But that doesn't stop everyone from telling me I will.
Looking for a baby name that?s nowhere near the top 10 ? or even the top 1000? Try the bottom five.
There are no laws regulating driving while tired, but statistics show that driver fatigue is one of the top three contributors to the road toll.
Rather than feeling ashamed of their post-baby bodies, women should be free to buy lingerie that makes them look attractive and pretty - no matter what stage of life they're in.
She has lived the first 14 months of her life in a hospital intensive care unit, but Alliyah Broadby's parents hope to finally take their little girl home with them.
IVF could be done for hundreds of dollars in Australia instead of $8500 if clinics stopped charging what ''the market will handle'', a pioneer of the technology says.
Nearly one in five women drink while pregnant, but a current campaign is trying to drive down that unhealthy statistic.
There's bad news for fans of Nutella, the gooey, chocolatey hazelnut spread.
Does it make financial sense to grow your own veggies, or are you better off ordering produce from the local food co-op?
A new study has shown the a complex relationship between a mother?s intention to breastfeed, her ability to do so, and postnatal depression.
A new Instagram account, LoveYourLines, has put the call out for to change the way we view stretch marks.
Sandra Lantz was about six months pregnant and four months from graduation when she was forced to leave high school. Now, more than half a century later, she has finally graduated.
How would you feel about having a male midwife assist your baby's birth? For a growing number of mums, the idea is a reality - and the experts all agree that it's something that should be encouraged.
Worried parents took to social media yesterday after their children's daycare was evacuated due to a bomb threat.
Celebrities love to use their imaginations when it comes to naming their kids! Here's a gallery of some of the most memorable monikers in show biz families.
Motherhood has a way of putting any phobias you had pre-parenthood into perspective: you either realise they?re a pointless waste of energy or they simply vanish in a sleep-deprived haze.
The Big W Dymples range offers parents a vast selection of quality products to keep their little ones happy and healthy. We asked the Real Mums Test Drive team to review some items - here's what they said.
Parents are being warned to check their baby's cot is not one of those which have been recalled in recent weeks due to safety concerns.
Celebrities often state that their post-baby weight loss is down to breastfeeding, and breastfeeding alone. But that's not the reality for all women.
Most kids have their own personal brand of oddity. It's usually nothing to worry about, but every now and again you might find yourself scratching your head and asking, ?Really? Is that really a thing??
Parents can assess their children's progress at critical developmental stages, thanks to this new app.
Membership to eBay's Bubs? Corner is free and includes a $10 coupon to spend on nappies each month - a win for multitasking mums!
Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.
Top 5 Articles
Testing ?no more tears? shampoo in your own eyes, warming cucumber sticks so they're not cold straight from the fridge, waking a sleeping baby to check they?re still breathing: these are all symptoms of Precious Firstborn Syndrome.
Little Ezra was a "Harry Houdini" who loved trying to escape the family home. Now, after his tragic death, his parents are doing what they can to help others.
As I sat across the table from my friend ? me, a seasoned mother of three; her, a brand new mum ? I thought of all the mistakes an old-hand parent can make when visiting a newborn baby.
Ever wondered what would happen if adults were allowed to act like children? This dad's hilarious video clip will give you an idea of what life would be like.
The number of confirmed cases of influenza in Australia has doubled the number for the same time last year - and women are 25 per cent more likely to get it.
Feeling exhausted due to the demands of caring for a baby? Imagine the life of this mum, who gave birth to three boys and one girl in just nine months.
Lowest prices on everything baby, only at Big W. Sale starts August 4 and ends August 20 2014.
We have 3 Red Smiggle prize packs to give away! Enter by posting a photo of something red to your Instagram.
She went to a doctor complaining of stomach pains, then had an unexpected operation to remove a decades-old fetus.
We've scoured the internet to find gorgeous personalised keepsakes and nursery decor to record baby name and dates. They make great gifts for christenings, name days and birthdays! (All prices in AU.)
Mind, body, beauty, life
We look at your wellbeing, covering health, relationships, beauty and fashion, mind and body.