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
Take heart in these principles that will transfer seamlessly from the workplace into your new life as a parent.
The new Volvo XC90 SUV's focus on keeping you safe does not come at the expense of comfort in the XC90.
Kim Kardashian has revealed complications during pregnancy means she might have to have a hysterectomy after the birth of her second child.
Loath as you may be to admit it, chances are that at some point you have found yourself in the kitchen late at night, devouring food.
They say twins have a unique connection. If this cute clip is anything to go by, these toddler sisters like to use their special bond to try to fool their mother.
For women trying to encourage their partners to take more interest in fatherhood, it could be the ultimate incentive.
Conditions affecting the gastrointestinal tract are common in modern humans, and many are on the rise - including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and coeliac disease.
Tired of being asked about their baby-making plans, Australian couple Matt and Abby decided to give a creative answer.
To celebrate Essential Baby reaching half a million Facebook fans, we have a Mountain Buggy Swift to giveaway to a lucky fan.
There comes a time when your child starts having different views to you. I didn't realise that time would come so soon.
I bet your to-do list today is long. But somewhere on that massive list, are you making time for your pelvic floor?
Three months ago, my wife, Chrysta, and I were driving along Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles when she let out a harrowing cry.
Some babies get excited when mum or dad come to get them from their cot after a nap.
In a world first, a healthy baby has been born from the same womb that nurtured his own mother.
Supermarket home brand foods, long derided as cheap and inferior, contain far lower levels of salt than pricier, branded rivals, new research shows.
A paediatricians' group is recommending that infants at high risk of peanut allergies be given foods containing peanuts before they turn one.
Ever dreaded the prospect of a long flight, dreaming about how wonderful it would be for a nanny to entertain the kids?
My husband was sure that Danger was a good option for a boy. And as the pregnancy progressed, it actually started to sound really good.
It's one way to make your baby stand out from the pack – giving them not one, but two first names.
When I fell pregnant with my second child I was, naturally, very excited. Then it all started to come back to me - and I freaked.
You're out shopping with your little one and they're incessantly whining that they want a treat. It's easy to say no ... the first time, at least.
Get your free ticket to the Sydney Essential Baby & Toddler Show for September 25-27 - register online now.
Top 5 Articles
Thirty seconds was all it took to turn a shopping trip into my worst nightmare.
George has overtaken William in the official rankings of most popular British baby names - and Game of Thrones is still having an impact on parents.
What's more important, a baby or a baseball? That's a question this dad seems to struggle with.
It's not often you hear the words labour and luxury in the same sentence but for some, a 5-star start to parenthood is exactly what they seek. And with a number of private hospitals now offering packages which include a post-birth stay at a sumptuous first class resort, many mums are choosing to recover in style.
Most women carry a smidge of baby weight after giving birth. If you're lucky enough to have an older child in the house, they can keep you on track with your weight loss goals.
Is it too soon to be reading to my two-month-old son? If not, what should I read?
Sibling rivalry is an act of competition, but if your children feel involved and special, this type of jealousy will be minimised.
I remember when I was trying to decide if I could combine motherhood and furthering my university education.
To celebrate dads and families, we are giving away a Picos Pack from Pacapod Australia filled with a few extra goodies ENTER NOW
A mother has had a frantic race to the hospital after her daughter was hit by a car, just four weeks after her infant son died.
A six-month-old baby girl is trapped in the Thai capital in a bitter custody wrangle between her Thai surrogate mother and her biological father.
A mother of six has been denied access to IVF treatment in order to have another child over concerns about her parenting skills.
Exhausted parents from around the world are singing the praises of a "miracle" book which promises to put even the most restless child to sleep in just minutes.
Parenthood can make you feel bad, but you're not alone.
The British royal family criticized paparazzi on Friday for what it called their increasingly dangerous attempts to photograph young Prince George.
"Anti-vaxxers" face not being able to send their children to childcare centres or kindergarten if they refuse to have them immunised.
Giving birth in a hospital surrounded by medical experts is tough enough, but some women deliver babies without a clean sheet to lie on.
When their son Jacob was born at just 27 weeks, Christina and Jeff Hinks were thrown into an uncertain world.
Bugaboo sure likes to keep things fresh, and with the Australian spring/summer season coming up, there are two new Bugaboo pram releases.
Mum's room or their own room? Cot or bassinets? Deciding where twins will sleep can be tricky.
Get your free ticket to The Essential Baby & Toddler Show and save $20 - register online now!