Yes, that's right, bike lessons. The Stin had a friend over the other day to play. I use the word "play" loosely, as their definition is very different than mine. They would be completely content with playing the Wii, DS or any other form of video gaming system, all day long-sometimes even separately. I, on the other hand, feel that playing means interacting, requires physical exertion, imagination and usually requires them being outside. So when I said the dreaded words, "No Wii boys, go play outside" the moping and dropped heads began- they were SO bored.
I swear that The Stin and his friends don't know how to actually be friends. They are kind of like The Ster... who is 16 months. They play by each other-but not with each other, it's like independent play with company...it's crazy! I have actually begun telling the boys to go figure out how to be friends and how to play together-because they really don't know how.
As the dragging of the feet and constant check ins of "can we play the Wii yet" continued, I decided to start rattling off things they could do: go get some other kids and play tag, hide-and-seek, capture the flag, get a game of football or soccer going, go out back and set up the horseshoes or the croquet set, shoot some hoops, get your remote control cars out, go get your bikes and ride around the block...and that's when I heard it:
"I can't Mrs. Crislip, I need to take bike lessons." WHAT?! I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt and inquired into this comment...bike lessons? Why would you need those? He was quite articulate in telling me that he has almost everything down but is having a problem with balance so his parents think he needs bike lessons...yup bike lessons. What do you say to that...I just shook my head and sent their moping butts outside to sit around and be bored. I gave it a good go and after the bike lesson excuse, I was done for the day.
This is my dilemma every day. I've written before about the other parents being a huge obstacle, none of us are on the same page any more with what is appropriate or necessary for our kids and the "bike lesson" was just another notch on my motherhood frustration belt. This is a boy who is very sweet, he has good manners, but he is not forced to do anything outside and tends to spend most of his time with technology instead of nature-and hence he can't ride a bike. This isn't a lesson situation, we're not playing the piano, you can't teach balance, you feel balance and unfortunately you feel the cement or grass before you feel the balance. He was never required to get out there and practice and fall and get back up and try again so he is now 10 years old and cannot ride a bike. The sad thing is that the best thing would probably be to put his training wheels back on, but how do you do that to a 10 year old boy?
It's just crazy to me, but this is how it is right now. I worry that the art of "being a boy" will be lost soon and it just kind of makes me sad. I want The Stin to grow up and be sweet and compassionate, but I also want him to be a man. I want him to embrace his testosterone and use those powers for good. Honestly, if I caught him and a friend in an argument and rolling around in the grass, I would probably breathe a sigh of relief. It might sound wrong, but boys are boys and I would love to see them acting that way...because the truth is, I don't.
So if you are raising a boy and he picks up a bug and sticks it in his pocket or rough houses in the grass with his dad-embrace it! They don't say boys will be boys for nothing and I don't want that phrase to become a moot point.