Tag: parenthood

Sunday Column (307)

This weeks started off with bad news that I need a new filling for my tooth. It would be the 4th time this tooth gets done, and the 3rd dentist doing it. Wish me luck, the date is set for early February. Then I went to Amsterdam for a conference, but due to the lack of early flights on Tuesday, I had to go on Monday afternoon. Never mind.

However, it gave me the chance to watch the movie “ROAD” which is the story of the Dunlop brothers. I’d like to use this to reflect a bit on life and living:

I never heard of those guys before but since my wife forbid me to ever get a motor bike again, and I used to have one back in the days, I was quite interested in their story. This movie got my memories flowing. The memory of sitting on my bike, helmet yet barely any other protection flying down the roads in Denmark. Cutting it fine around tight bends in the alps through snow, wet conditions on windy, narrow roads. Almost causing or having accidents. The adrenalin of chasing one’s fear, testing one’s limits. I enjoyed it. I was able to enjoy it as the only person I really had to think and care of was myself.

But now I understand my wife; the fear that the kids might one day have a motor bike. However careful they would drive, it is the others, the surroundings that could kill them. And we know about that. I knew of it back then and ignored it. And I knew of my mother lying awake at night when I was on the road, on the bike. How awful would a worst case scenario feel, or the constant fear. I’d rather not think about it.

I remember that one afternoon in Ireland, I was ahead of my mate. I saw a light going across the road in my rear view mirror, it was raining. A truck honked and flashed its light. I turned around. I expected the worst case which luckily didn’t happen. A few scratches when my mate didn’t make it around the bend. Not his fault, a pot hole. Pot luck I suppose. We celebrated life that night, a few drums and thinking about how short life could or could have been. That was then. Hungover we continued the next day. Visor shut, brain turned off. We were flying down the country roads again. No fear.

You see some pictures of me of those days then (excuse the quality). That was then. A different me?

I enjoyed those times, yet I don’t wish them back. I had some bad experiences, crazy manoeuvres. We lived it and rode it, close to the limit. And we didn’t even have very heavy and fast machines.

No, I think I won’t encourage my boys to go into any extreme sports. Whether this is road biking, mountain biking or motor cycling. It doesn’t really matter, any extreme sport has its risk. Of course some more than others. I got quieter by now, wiser I like to think…

Just this week my youngest, who isn’t yet four, looked at someone smoking saying “you are going to die”. We have to be careful to not educate them to the other extreme either I suppose. My eldest decided to take his few pennies from his secret money stash and donate it to Africa. He even got a head teacher’s award for it. They both like watching me exercise on the treadmill or doing my weights. How do they come across to others. Is it in a good or patronising way….questions we have to face as parents. Amazing the influence you have on those lives.

Anyway, enough thoughts as a parents, and a trip down memory lane.

Have a great week!
Volker