The other day, I was outside working on some yard work in the front yard, when I heard a mother, shouting at her child just up the street.
“Just Keep Pedaling! I’m telling you, Just Keep Pedaling! Just Keep Pedaling!”
I was trying to mind my own business, but to be fair, this lady was really yelling at her kid. At first, I couldn’t tell if she was excited for her child, or angry, so I watched for a minute, hiding behind my water hose and my husband’s truck.
I found out, that she was a little bit of both. The child would pedal and get about 5 pumps around, before tipping over. So the mother would be excited about pedaling, and then angry at the not-pedaling.
I don’t know why I didn’t just go inside then, and leave this teaching moment between the two of them, but I was curious to see if this kid would figure out how to ride without her training wheels. She wasn’t my child, but I had heard “Just Keep Pedaling!” so many times, I wanted to see it happen!
The girl would start going as her mother held onto the back of her seat, then get a few yards away and you could see on her face that she realized she was doing it on her own, and that suddenly, the balance – or lack thereof – was too much to handle. A few times, this girl just tipped to one side and fell onto the street.
Her mom would run after her, take a break from her pedaling mantra, and say, “You’re good.”
The daughter would say, “But I fell down.”
Then the mom would say, “But you’re all right, aren’t you?”
“Yes,” the child would answer timidly.
“Then…Just Keep Pedaling!”
At one point, the girl had just fallen down and was brushing herself off to give it another go when an older boy, one who you could tell had been riding his bike for sometime, came whizzing past her on his bike, with his ear buds in his ears, and no hands on the handlebars.
I could see the look on the little girls face and I thought along with her, “Show-off…..”
But she jutted out her chin in determination and after 10 more minutes or so, she was able to make it all the way down the street and back without falling down. All the while, the mother jumped up and down in the street yelling – you guessed it – Just Keep Pedaling!
I couldn’t help but be happy for this little girl’s accomplishment and be inspired by her.
How many times are we as mothers, or women, or people, trying to learn something new and just plain out struggling at it. How many days do I go to bed frustrated because it took me 45 minutes to get my kids to eat 3 bites of vegetables. How often do I sit in the whirlwind of my three boys and wonder what it will take for them to listen to just one word out of my mouth that isn’t treat or time-out. How hard it is to be a mother and feel responsible for all of your kids choices, even though you know it isn’t really that way.
I can’t count the many times I have lost my balance and fallen down in this ride of motherhood. Sometimes I want to complain that I fell down and show off my scrapes and bruises. But there is always a loving voice in my head telling me that I am all right, after all, and all I have to do is keep pedaling.
Of course it’s hard not to notice the other mothers. The ones who seem to have a handle on their pedaling way more than I do. The mothers who have their hair curled and their kids make it out the door with both shoes on their feet. You know the ones. They don’t have Chex mix stuck to their bottom or dark circles under their eyes.
Their houses are always clean, their snacks are always healthy, their kids are always quiet.
You see them and get down on yourself that you feel like you’re in the gutter and they are whizzing past….show-offs.
The truth is, they were once where you were…and probably still are when you don’t see it. Every rider has the bumps that can take them down. Every rider has the other rider they are following in the race, the ones that keep them going, that inspire them to get back on the bike and try a little harder.
And that’s okay. That is good.
We need to just listen to that voice that encourages us to keep going. Just Keep Pedaling!
Let’s not be depressed or discouraged by the seemingly perfect or more experienced…let’s get inspired and push one another to keep our feet going and finish our ride. It’s not a race, just a journey. So enjoy it!
I know if we listen, we can succeed. Just Keep Pedaling! Just Keep Pedaling! Just Keep Pedaling!