Liam doesn't want to take that leap--and I can't make him.
Coming to terms with this concept has been one of the tougher parts of parenthood for me.
There are times when I want the kids to do something, because I think they have the talent for it and it would be fun and good for them--like when I wanted Michaela to keep taking ballet, or Natasha to try out for the school play. These are things that are stretches for them, that require a leap of faith. At this point in parenthood, I've learned to get over it when they don't want to take those leaps. After all, these are usually things that I want, not things they want. And ultimately, they don't matter.
But some things do matter, and that's when I have more trouble. There are times when my heart breaks for one of my children because I know they have it in them to learn Latin, or get out of a bad relationship, or make new friends, or swim an elusive qualifying time...and all that is stopping them is, well, them. They hold themselves back--they don't believe in themselves, or they don't have the passion or will they need, or both. I've tried encouraging, cajoling, yelling, bribing--nothing works. It has to come from them.
In parenthood, we can only take them so far. We can love them and nurture them and teach them and give them opportunities...but whether and when they put their feet on the pedals and take off down the path is ultimately not ours to decide.
I haven't given up on teaching Liam to ride a bike, though. A friend suggested I try rollerblading alongside of him, holding on to the bike. If nothing else, it sounds like fun.
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