Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Riding for Relationship

Sophia got a new bike!  

Her first “real” (made of metal) bike. This is a big event in our house - - Papa is a bike guy, making his living selling them and spending his free time riding them fast, down-hill!

To be honest, I was a little nervous when we took her out for her first lesson.  I wanted everyone to be happy - Sophia to learn, enjoy, and GO FAST!  and Anton to enjoy teaching and watching his daughter succeed at something he loves so much.  
As we headed out to the Square, the first lesson began . . .

“keep your feet moving around . . . push, push down . . . 
watch where you’re going . . . 
keep your feet moving. . . don’t stop pushing . . . 
watch out . . . 
stop . . . 
turn the handle bars . . . 
keep moving your feet round and round . . . 
don’t stop, 
keep going  . . . “
It was so easy for her to get distracted.  

At first, this really frustrated me . . . I mean we were all so excited about her new bike and wanted her to have fun and learn . . . but Sophia kept stopping and running to do something else - like climbing up our old Smolensk canons.

Or running up to a little girl and asking, 
             “What is your name?  How old are you?”

Or running to chase a little boy on his bike - 
              just for the fun of running and laughing with him.  
We kept calling her back, 
             “Sophi, come ride your bike!”  
             “We came here to ride not to climb.”  
             “Soph, maybe that boy doesn’t want you to chase
I kept thinking, even in that moment, 
             “Just let her have fun and enjoy the day.”  

But, there was this bike, see, and a task to do, and so we kept coming back to riding.
Later, as I thought about it, it struck me . . .
    Sophia was much more interested in SHARING the experience - with us, 
                    with the other children, 
                    with the earth and wind and sound.  
It was more than just doing something . . . it was SHARING.  
Isn’t that funny?!  
How often do I lecture her on sharing her toys  . . . ? 

Here is her favorite way of sharing and I’ve often missed it and really never knew to call it sharing.  
“Mama!  Watch this!  Look!”  
“My name is Sophia.  I’m 3 years old.  What is your name?”
“Papa, can you help me?”
“I have a new bike.  My old one got broke.  Do you want to ride it?”
That day Sophia did learn to ride - kept her feet moving around - and even stood up to pedal!

But the real joy was so much more - it was in the sharing!

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