They say everything happens for a reason. Back when I was teaching, my students would have told you it’s called a “cause-and-effect” relationship: one thing happens that is the reason for the second event happening.
I was thinking about all this recently after my son and I went for an-almost-hour-long bike ride.
There’s a lot involved within that one bike ride. My son wanted to ride from our home to his elementary school, where he is a new kindergartener. He’s still getting acclimated to a different schedule, a new teacher, a large class, a noisy cafeteria -- it’s a lot different from his beloved preschool. We rode right up to the gate where Ryan and I walk inside each morning. And then we turned around and came home.
Ryan is a fairly new two-wheeler-with-training-wheels bike rider. He graduated to this “big boy bike” when he graduated from preschool. He was trepidatious about his new bike for quite some time, preferring to be pulled along rather than pedaling himself. After some practice sessions, he feels much more comfortable pedaling but still likes the security that comes from having mommy or daddy’s hand on the handlebar, just in case.
Today though, mommy was having a hard time on the way home. A walk of that length is an iffy proposition. It’s either something I can manage okay or else it’ll be something that will leave me in tears. On this day, it was the latter. The pain in my calf intensified the closer we got to home.
My slow walking was holding Ryan back, and when I let go of the handlebars to avoid colliding with an overgrown shrub, Ryan surprised himself and kept on pedaling. His voice was rich with pride, “I’m doing it,” as he happily maneuvered the sidewalk and waited for his limping mommy to catch up.
By the time we got to our patio, Ryan was ecstatic at his accomplishment. I, on the other hand, was in pain that had me reaching for my “last resort” pain pill.
Which brings me back to the whole cause-and-effect scenario I mentioned earlier. It was because of this very pain that I was able to have this adventure with Ryan in the first place. If not for the pain, I would still be teaching. And on this particular day, I would have been sitting in a faculty meeting thinking that most meetings really are not beneficial. Had it not been for the pain and my medical condition, I wouldn’t have retired from my teaching career six months ago. I would be spending hours with other people’s children and missing the opportunity to take my son to and from school, miss being the first one to hear a story from his day, and miss having afternoon adventures like an hour-long bike ride.
My pain is the price I am paying that allows me to now be a stay-at-home mommy. It’s certainly not a cause I’m happy about, but I’ll just try to keep focusing on the positive effects instead.