Every civilization has its own rites of passage, a milestone recorded and achieved to mark the entry of a child to manhood. Some have violent forms while others have small rituals.
For me, it was riding a bicycle.
It was a testament that I could take off anytime I want to go anywhere I could; that is, of course, provided my brothers let me use their bikes.
I had 3 older brothers so you can imagine how great the condition was of my hand-me-down bike. Still, it did not deter me from pushing myself hard to learn how to ride it. I knew that if I didn’t get to know how, I wouldn’t be included in the roster of who gets to use what. Scrapes and bruises, broken toes and falling down, I willed myself to learn it … until I did.
It’s the same character I wish for my son to have … and at least he didn’t have to wait for 3 other guys to get the chance.
Neo: I can do it, Dad! I can do it!
Me: Yes I know, Neo, now be sure to use the break!
Neo: Yes, Dad!
At point I hugged him tight and could not believe how fast he’s grown in the past 4 years. It wasn’t too long ago — as the parental cliche goes — that he was still a baby. And now here he is driving past me and ready to go anytime he wants to anywhere he could. I held him tighter.
Neo: Let go, Dad! I need to ride. I’ll be fast like this, zoooom! Daaaaad, let go, Dad.
Me: In time, my son, in time …
I’m such a fucking girl.