My son is three and a half years old. Today he called me outside to watch something.

Sigh – OK, hang on.

Finally made it outside and he proceeded to get on his bike and ride fifty feet all by himself. Daddy took his training wheels off a few weeks ago, but I haven’t done anything with him to help him practice. Rather than pester me about it he just went and learned by himself.

I was so proud of him and impressed by his three year old accomplishment. And I felt so guilty that he basically taught himself to ride his bike because I was busy elsewhere. I taught myself to ride a bike too, and I remember talking to my husband about that before we had children. I really wanted to be more present in my children’s lives than my parents were. Don’t get me wrong – they were good parents and loved us, but they were busy and stretched and just doing the best they could; I have plenty of grace for them. That’s all any of us can do, but I wanted to be there in a way they were not able to because of circumstances.

All of that came rushing back today when Viking got on his bike and took off. He turned around with a grin that wrapped around to the back of his head and Principesa and I cheered and yelled and called Daddy and Grandma and the other Grandma and he felt great.

I felt terrible. I’m blessed and so very thankful to be a SAHM, and yet am I any more present than my overworked parents were? What’s my excuse?

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