I started and abandoned two different post this morning about last week and Ryan’s struggle with extreme anxiety over hockey statistics. It’s all a little raw and I’m not ready to delve in just yet. Maybe later this week. A brief update: Things continue to improve each day, but Ryan still can’t bring himself to watch more than a few minutes of a game. He picked up a new diagnosis and is back on meds but we are hopeful we are on a path that will put this crisis in the rear view mirror. I have plenty to say about all of that but today is not the day.
Instead I want to share the lightest moment of a weekend with plenty of ups and downs.
We finally had some beautiful spring weather and both kids wanted to spend time outside. This interfered with my plans to sack out on the couch with a few beers and watch The Masters, but I couldn’t deny them.
As Ryan likes to remind me when I resist, “Dad, I’m trying to get exercise and be healthy!” And so we played dozens of games of backyard hockey. Both kids also wanted to go bike riding.
Bike riding is not a spontaneous activity where we live because of all the severe hills. You generally have to take the bikes somewhere to go riding, but there is a flat, low-traffic stretch at the top of our street that is suitable as long as an adult stays nearby to keep an eye out for cars.
That’s where I found myself Saturday afternoon, sitting in a beach chair observing Ryan and Riley turn laps up and down the street, occasionally pulling over when I called out, “car!”
Ryan learned to ride a bike just two weeks ago, but his improvement was remarkable. He was steady and sure of himself.
In fact, he was feeling so good about himself that he wanted to let everyone know it. There was a group of very small children riding tricycles in front of their house halfway down the street. As Ryan rode past, he yelled, “Hey, I’m on TWO wheels!”
It wasn’t malicious or mean-spirited, just slightly inappropriate. When he did it a second time I waved him over to talk to him about it.
Putting things in hockey terminology, I told him he was “chirping” the little kids and needed to stop.
Still, it was hard for me to get angry. I’m thrilled any time Ryan expresses pride in himself, and that’s all this was — a somewhat misguided way of saying “look what I can do!”
Ryan doesn’t get many opportunities to show off. I was glad he felt like doing so. I’d rather teach him tact than self-confidence.
This week has been full of labels, anxiety, fear, hurt, anger and frustration. I’ll trade all that for some simple boasting any day.