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Getting Off Track

This week our morning bike ride/walk has hit a snag. As our four and half-year-old has become more adventuresome riding over bumps and stumps, he popped the chain off its track. After repairing this twice on our long Saturday path, we had to call in reinforcements. The ride in the back of Dad’s truck after he came to rescue us was worth it!

This morning while he was trying to go down and around an obstacle in the road, he ran full force into the wheel of the stroller and popped the chain again. Because we were on a path that had a bit more traffic, we couldn’t stop and repair the chain. And so he had to push the bike back home. As we were walking, we were talking about what happens when things don’t go as we planned.

“We get frustrated!” he responded.

“Yes, it is frustrating, but is it a big deal or a little deal?”

He paused for a moment thinking. “It’s a little deal.”

“That’s right. We are safe and we are together and we’ll be home a little bit later than we thought, but not so much later.”

This language of big deal and little deal is language we have used with all of our children. It’s language that asks them to think about what’s really important and what really matters.

It’s language that I’ve started to internalize too, especially during this time of homeschooling and balancing more roles and responsibilities. It’s centered me and sobered me as I reflect on the number of people who are fighting a virus that there is no known cure for and who are grieving losing someone they love who has died from this virus.

Even as it started raining on our heads, we talked about the fact that we had dry clothes and towels at home that we could change when we made it there,.

But first, we had to keep walking and keep pushing the bike.