The tires of the bike refused to make the transition between the dirt path and black top, causing the bike to tumble and Liam to slide face down across the riding trail. The rest of us squealed our brakes and I shouted out, “Oh, Jesus!”
We retrieved him from the ground, wiped the tears and brushed off the pebbles sticking to his elbows and knees as his mother reassured, “You fell just how you were supposed to. You did great!”
I was instantly reminded of a conversation from a few years past of a dozen or so moms sitting around my dinning room table. Each expressing their fears of raising teenagers, each listing the rules they had put in place in hopes to protect their kids from all the evils that lurked around every corner. Each believing they could keep their children for the worlds harm.
“Protect? Wouldn’t it be better to teach them what to do when shit happens?” I thought. I wanted to shout it out, but this wasn’t that kind of group. The conversation in my head continued, “Statistics say that in this group almost half of us have experienced abuse and at least three sexual abuse. Unless you plan to lock them up till you’re dead, they going to encounter bad things!”
Life has edges, it has dangers, it has evils, it has paths that refuse to allow us to transition gracefully. Try as we may, it is impossible to avoid life’s edges. There is no amount of rules that will keep our kids in a protective bubble that they can roll through life in.
“You fell well!” Liam mom’s continued. “Good job!”
You fell well! – what a great statement.
After receiving comfort and congratulations on a fall well done, Liam inspected his bike, straightened his helmet and seat, climbed on board and took off proud of the scratch on his elbow and the fact that he knows how to fall well.
So here is a blessing for those who choose to Fall Well –
When you find yourself face down, sliding across the uneven paths of life;
May someone be there to help you up, brush you off, and wipe the tears.
May you quickly regain courage and balance to once again begin moving forward,
May you find your stride quickly and continue on the path.
And above all, may you look back and say with confidence, I fell well!