This was the scene observed at Riverside Park yesterday. A little guy was pedaling away on his small two-wheeler, without training wheels on, but with his dad running along behind, holding on to the seat – until he wasn’t – and then the elation, the joy, the accomplishment as his young son wobbled off on his own.
This is such a beautiful example of the kind of support our children require as they grow. Parents are there, behind them, as they face challenges, meet goals, succeed, fail – holding gently, letting go lightly, waiting for the balance to come, then watching as they take off with confidence and joy.
Even as adults we welcome the gentle boost that we feel when somebody we care about “has our back”. I’ve watched children at Play Shoppe reach the top of the climbing dome, make it all the way around the balance beam – solo- yet call out to a parent to watch me do this – alone.
For at the same time our children are reaching these new heights on their own, seeking and proving their independence and capability, they want to connect, to share the unspoken, I did it, while still feeling secure in knowing you’re there to notice, to support and catch them if they fall.