I’m not sure why I thought a bike ride on this 90 degree Washington, DC afternoon sounded like a good idea. I wanted to exercise and suggested to my daughter that we ride to one of our favorite lunch spots. I knew the route was hilly and after our successful ride a few days prior knew she could easily manage a 5 mile ride. What I didn’t realize is that she isn’t used to riding up hills. After the first hill where she so proudly raced past me and beat me to the top, she asked me to ride home and get the car. I talked her into making it to the lunch spot. Turns out she only had a piece of cake for breakfast and was running on fumes.
My mom is the one that originated the dessert is a fine breakfast idea. I grew up knowing my mom’s favorite breakfast was cherry pie and coke. While I had no interest in it growing up, my husband laughed when I told him the story because he said I have sanctioned cake for breakfast for years. However, I wouldn’t have only eaten cake before a bike ride!
After we eat, my daughter feels better and tells me after we complete the second big hill on the way back that she’s telling herself “Your mom didn’t raise a quitter, so don’t you quit!” I am a pleased to hear it at first, but then share with my daughter that it sounds like negative encouragement or as a sports psychologist once called it “stinking thinking”. I ask her if she might consider another more positive phrase that would encourage her?
That is when she tells me “Don’t yuck someone else’s yum.” I turn that over in my head a few times and realize what a great point she just made. I also realize that I give this courtesy to others, so why aren’t I giving it to my daughter?
I have learned so much on my journey as a caregiver. I learned to watch without judgement, to not let things that I could not control drive me nuts, and to let others find their way. Now I need to learn how to balance those lessons with being a mom. Challenged.