Like most kids, growing up I was taught to take care of the things we owned and when borrowing or using something that was not ours, to treat it with the same care and respect that we would show our own stuff. This included putting things away properly when you’re done with them, being gentle, not throwing stuff around, and using something for its intended purpose (within reason, with some imagination a car can easily become a flying car, and a screwdriver can become a prybar [wait, no it shouldn’t, that is not taking proper care of your things]). These are pretty basic lessons, lessons as important to a child as they are to an adult.
As my parents taught me these lessons, I am trying to teach them to my kids. At 1 and 2.5 they might not be able to fully grasp the concept, but I figure it can’t hurt to start teaching them. And as with all things, it is easier to teach your children by example instead of “do as I say, not as I do.”
So the events of last Friday night stung just a little bit more because of this.
Last Friday I went for my first group ride of the season. There are 4 of us who have met through Twitter and we get together once a week or so and go for a bike ride. As this was the first ride of the season I was scrambling to get everything together and ready to go as well as juggle the kids and get them ready as well.
It was a great ride, albeit a little chilly and windy, but we all made it in one piece and as I packed up to go home I realized how hungry I was. In the excitement of getting everything together I totally forgot to eat something and seeing as how it was now 8pm and I hadn’t had anything to eat since lunch, I was more than a little starving. And cold. And tired. So despite the wonderful ride, I was feeling a little miserable, especially when I saw the gas light come on when I started the car.
So I quickly loaded up my bike, hopped in, put the car in reverse, and as I was rolling back heard a sickening crunch.
I jump out to find the back wheel sitting atop my brand new helmet, inside of which were my cycling glasses and water bottle. All newly acquired items to get this season off to a good start. Luckily my front wheel (which I’d taken off to mount my bike on the roof rack) fell off to the side as I backed up so I didn’t crush it.
I just stood there feeling like such an idiot. I try hard to take good care of my stuff, and as it was something I was just working on with Bean as we were driving and he was throwing his cars around, it stung just that little bit more. I know better. I should have walked around the car before I left, something I usually do when packing up to go somewhere.
Now it wasn’t the end of the world and it was a good lesson, though a humbling one. My helmet, glasses, and water bottle are all replaceable. The lesson I learned will stick with me. It is important that we teach our children lessons that help build a solid foundation for the rest of their lives. It is important to teach them lessons with our words and to remember that they pick up far more than we give them credit for by watching our actions.