Monday, April 16, 2012

Bicycle Helmets...You're Never Too Old to Wear One

With my daughter's senior year fast approaching, this weekend we took a moment to reflect on our tremendous strides toward developing her into a well rounded woman. None more evident than the first time we allowed her to meet friends at the high school basketball game, solo. She was 12 and fighting like a champ to show her independence. She argued and her attitude was a little questionable. Eventually, we caved. But when it was time for pick up we thought it best that she learn to be a bit more diplomatic and a little less bitchy in her debating skills.

I handed my husband our 10-year-old's bicycle helmet. I would wear the 8-year-old's. We strapped the helmets onto our chins. But it was tough, being that they were children's helmets...not intended for our big adult heads. My husband's was on backwards. Both of us choking from the tight fit. It would be difficult to talk with the strap properly holding our chin into place and cutting into our skin. They fit atop our heads like a hard dome protecting a dangerous growth or perhaps a soft spot.

I climbed into the driver's seat of the 1990 green Dodge shadow - left to him by his 95-yr-old great grandmother when she passed away -God rest her soul- and we tore down the drive-way towards the school with the faded out bumper sticker in the back window that read Wild Thing. It wasn't until we were on the main road that I looked at my husband grabbing at his chin and trying to stretch out the nylon material, "'s choking me." I started laughing so hard it was difficult to drive. "I cannot look at you...I cannot look at you." He started laughing and choking and said "What the hell do you think you look like?"

We arrived at the school and pulled right up to the front door where the fake cop guy is always trying to direct traffic. Game faces on. For good measure, I had my husband hang out the window and wave his hand and yell her name. She was dutifully standing inside the lobby with friends waiting and watching.  It took a few seconds before it registered that the moron hanging out of the car with a bicycle helmet 10 sizes too small was actually yelling her name. Instinct told her to run, she mouthed OH My Gawww...and turned and ran. But a SECOND instinct kicked in and she turned and ran toward the car.  We were busy waving and smiling at her friends and still yelling her name. She jumped in the car and yelled "Go! Go! Whaaaaat issss WRONG with you!?!?"

And that's when we knew our parenting was spot on. Her reasoning skills were solidly in place. She knew that if she went with her first instinct to run....we would've came after her, helmets and all. But she figured it out by herself.

She's going to be fine. Just fine.

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