Training wheels mark a milestone. They tell us that we are allowed to advance because we have a competency and balance required of us. The whole thought of having the safeguards in place until the time where they need to be removed. The time comes when they inhibit our growth and future progress. I’m not referring to removing the saw safety guards or something dangerous. I’m referring to things such as training wheels, padding, helmets, cut gloves…etc. I think we all hit that time where we just need to move forward because we are ready. I have noticed personally that if I’m not ready to do something, I will not be able to.
In my case, I have been writing songs for twenty two years now and I’m compiling my personal besties to record an album. I have been prohibited from doing so due to the fact that I had no keyboard to produce drum beats. So as of today, I am the proud owner of a broken keyboard that I tinkered with and hardwired to repair. I found a solution. Whenever I hit that level of growth, I’m excited times ten and two. I achieve and happiness and joy greets me. It is a proving ground for me.
When I was younger I would mark great milestones with a Nintendo and these games called Gunsmoke, Super Mario, Legend of Zelda, Contra and 1942. I loved every minute of it, minus my father screaming at me if I missed a jump or failed to kill a goombah with Mario. One time, he was so pissed off that he reached out and busted me so hard that I saw stars. All because I couldn’t get Link to destroy this ghost in the labrynth. That day, I gave up all video games period. I suppose he did me a favor later in life because I didn’t become addicted to that but I stopped pushing past those things like that to get my training wheels off. What I should have been taught by my father is that no matter what I do, I’m still loved and it’s going to be ok. Whether I succeed or fail, that he still loved me. Instead, I learned to keep far enough out of arms reach just in case. I don’t think I ever got real close to him again. I was a boy reaching out to make an attempt to remove my training wheels. To grow.
Yesterday then, came as quite the shock when our awesome 6 year old daughter just out of nowhere picked up the little red bike without training wheels on and VOILA! Just rode it up and down the sidewalk. No helmet, no fear and nothing but bike tires chomping on pavement. It made me swell with great pride. It just gave me pure joy. Today, we went and got her a helmet because starting this morning at 7 in the a.m., we were asked politely if she could go ride. That is amazing.
That is what I could’ve been doing twenty years ago had I not let someone steal my competitive drive. I am not a victim. I am someone who learned more about people growing up than I wanted to. I never want to mistake my kids enthusiasm for a chance to stop them in their tracks. I pray daily that I’m not him and that I am doing the right thing. Somedays I feel all mean to the children because I have to give them a time out for crossing boundaries or drawing on the walls or breaking things but I know that if not corrected, even a rose will grow ugly. I try to correct them vastly different than I was corrected. Now you, the reader, knows more about why I don’t tinker with stuff very often. That inner parent is screaming and hitting me. I hope that you as people never ever destroy your childrens wonder or drive or life giving energy. I hope the same for me.
I am glad however that my kids are forgiving because I have been a wretch in the past to them. I always thought I was going to be a good father until they showed up. Then I worry fervently and frequently if I am capable. Here, a man with a short temper, no patience and a very misguided parenting style have come to try each and every day to be the best dad I can. I can do nothing but through Christs strength in me to rise above all this. If it wasn’t for His great mercy and grace, I would still be just another wife-beating, drug doing, alcohol imbibing son of a. So, for those who fail like me alot, I pray for you to be better through Christ. For those who don’t know the reformative transformation that is being redeemed, I pray for you too. It is not a one day you’re saved and never do any bad again but it is a process that eight million self help books cannot solve for you.
It is the process of taking off those training wheels, when ready, and the learning to stand up again. This time to be strong because He is strong. This time to accept that the man who batters his kids amusement away from them, will also one day have to answer for that. This time to forgive and release the guilt of a bad time done happened. That is the process into which we either accept or run from until it’s time to die. It’s amazing how many people cry on their death bed when it’s finally time. They regret the living they did in their life but still have a choice. To leave on a good note and try to make it right through repentance or to waste their days away. I don’t know about you, but I want to leave a legacy that has broken this family baggage and have a funeral where people will miss what I tried to do for them. I won’t worry that I did too much but that I haven’t done enough.