This I Believe

B.A. - Long Beach, California
Entered on November 1, 2007

I believe that as a mother of boys I have an important responsibility. Not only do I want to raise my boys to be kind and gentle, thoughtful and loving, critical thinkers, and thinkers willing to step outside of themselves, but also, I believe that it is my job to teach my children how to move into every new moment with a fresh and positive perspective.

Every morning, at 8:30, I remind Copeland and Quincy, not always so gently, that it is time to go to school. At 8:35, I say it again. At 8:40 I say it again. And often, at 8:45 I say it again. We eventually climb on our bikes and we ride the 7 minutes to their elementary school. In that time and space of 7 minutes, and amazing transformation occurs on those bicycles. No matter how much of a struggle the morning was, no matter how many tears or how many threats or how many times voices were raised, as we ride down the street, we leave it all behind. We pedal ourselves into a new space and a new attitude. We leave the morning behind us and we move towards the next phase of our day. By the time we have gone the five block to the red light, we are all a team racing to see if we will make the light (I think we have made it twice in 5 years!) or racing to find the sunny spot to wait for the light to turn, laughing and smiling.

Copeland is 10. He thinks he is old enough to ride to school by himself. I know that he is responsible enough to bike safely to school alone. But I believe that celebrating the transition from the morning routine at home to the school day on the bicycle together is important for all of us. I believe it is important to teach my children that moving your body and celebrating your community is a way to ease into transitions. I believe that teaching this by living it will help my children ease into other transitions on their own as they continue to face new challenges every day.