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Moms vs. Dads

First off all i want to thank ya’ll for the awesome response on our review on the baby registry ideas. Now we will talk about something more interesting.

When raising kids, there’s something you must learn early on:  men and women are different.  Now this may seem obvious to you at first glance.  Duh.  But it doesn’t really hit home until you start diverging on how the day-to-day business of life is conducted with respect to said children.  Moms and Dads can sometimes have VERY different opinions on what’s best for their children.

Do they fight back on the playground or walk away?  Is it okay for boys to cry?  Okay for girls to play football?

How about riding dirt bikes at the age of five?  Gasp.  “Five, did you say?”

Yep.  For some Dads, riding dirt bikes is no different from riding a bike.  Well, not really anyway.  Now as a mother you first instinct may be to jump up and down and scream “No way!  My baby’s not going to do anything so dangerous!”

Most fathers will wait the woman out at this point and when they sense you’re finished with your emotional tirade, they’ll quietly tell you that they rode a dirt bike at age five and by seven, were cruising the neighborhood on their own en route to their friend’s house.  They will also remind you about all the potential for injury kids have on regular bicycles, swimming pools, baseball, soccer….  The list goes on.

Now that you’ve caught your breath, you rethink your position.  Seems husband wants this dirt bike thing to happen.  Do you have the right to demand otherwise?  After all, it’s his kid, too.  And you didn’t marry a man without a good head on his shoulders.  You know your husband wouldn’t do anything to purposefully harm your child.  So where do you go from here?

You go to the flat track.  That’s where kids and adults alike race their dirt bikes and have the time of their life.  At first your tentative on the trip out to the track.  Not knowing what to expect, you pack your anxiety into your back pack and zip it closed.  It’s still close enough to pull out when warranted, but hidden from public view.  It’s not like you want to embarrass your son.  If he’s going to do this thing, you want him to have a good time without the distraction of his crazy mom.  More importantly, if you don’t keep your angst under wraps, you won’t be invited back.

Unthinkable.  But I must confess, when the first ten-year-old laid down in his bike as he took the curve, his little rag-doll of a body sliding across the dirt track right in front of me, I almost yanked my back pack of nerves open and called it quits.  My son was in the next heat!

But this young man was not hurt (though there was a medic on site in the event he was injured).  Instead, he brushed the dirt from his uniform-clad knees (these kids are decked head to toe in full protective gear — including steel bottom boots, chest protector, neck brace, helmet — the works!) and marched right off that track returning moments later with his “back up” bike whereby he jumped back into the race and finished with dignity.  Kids.  Go figure.

Before anyone was the wiser, I quickly stuffed my worry back into its pack and resumed vigilance as spectator.  “Take another breath, dear.  You’ll be all right.”  :)

Phew.  I only have one thing to say after a weekend like this one.  For those of you who aren’t parents, beware:  parenting isn’t for sissies.  And from what I understand, it only gets harder as they get older.  I can’t even imagine the anxiety that will become my “norm” when the kids are driving.  And I thought dirt bikes were worrisome!

“Take another breath, dear.  Just breathe.”

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