I'm looking forward to giving my son his first bike riding lesson, tomorrow. For his 5th Birthday, the wife and I got him a new bicycle. Since I'm off work tomorrow and Tuesday, I’ll pack up his new bike—training wheels removed—and we’ll head over to Waterloo Park, downtown. This park has wide, open spaces with low hills, so it'll make a great place to begin our training.
I'm keeping my expectations low, so I won't disappoint and frustrate myself. My son–unlike my daughter, who unthinkingly jumps head-first into any precarious situation—is very cautious. I mean, when I warned him that too much sugar might put his health at risk, he swore off cookies and donuts and candy for weeks, until I told him that sugar was OK, just, not to be overindulged.
If there's any indication of danger, or the possibility of hurting himself, he won't be game to riding a bike. If he falls—even one time—he'll be ready to give up, and go home. And, should he fall and draw blood, bike riding will be out in this lifetime.
Earlier this summer, while attending an event in the park, my son was given a free helmet by the Austin Cycling Association. These folks take bike safety and children wearing helmets seriously. Not that I don't, but I when I grew up, we didn't wear helmets. And we rode our bikes all over central and north Des Moines, and somehow lived to tell about it. But, kids in our neighborhood wear bike helmets, knee pads, shin guards, safety goggles, and leather gloves! Oh my gosh! Now, I'm a contemporary daddy, so I'll get with it and gear my kid up. He will wear a helmet. Not because I make him, but because, again, he's overly circumspect.
On the book writing front, things have slowed quite a bit. This year, I set my goals high, and I think I've burned myself out. I took an online writing course. I've stepped up my reading. I wrote six picture book manuscripts, revising one several times with an editor. I've never worked so hard for so little. I’m not giving up, but right now, the idea of pursuing a lit agent, or mailing out manuscripts to endless rejections just isn't so attractive. We'll see how I'm feeling later this year.