3 Life Lessons Learned From Riding Bikes With a 7 Year Old

high fiving trees on our bike ride

Lia and I have been riding bikes to school the last few days. I've been enjoying these bike rides to and from school so much. We're spending time outdoors, which is never a bad thing. I get quality one on one time with her, and that leads to great conversations. I've been taking notes of the various lessons Lia has been teaching me this last week and I wanted to sum them up here...

    1. "Choice is a powerful thing." It's 1.5 miles, and there are a couple of hills, not massive hills, but big enough to cause a burn in the legs, especially when you're 7. One day we're riding up the hill, after school, I might add, so she's a bit more tired, and she dropped that knowledge about choice on me. Choice. It is a powerful thing. Lia meant it as, I'm making the choice to not stop on this hill...I'm going to make it up this hill without stopping. She made a choice and her whole body + mind were connected on helping her achieve that goal. When we consciously make choices in our life, things seem to work out more than they don't. Now, I'm not talking about things we don't have control over, like how people react in our lives, or the weather. I'm talking about choices on how we react to what life throws at us. Are we going to make it up this hill without stopping? Are we going to choose to put whole foods in our bellies or grab the quick processed stuff? Can I say yes to loving people who've hurt me in the past, simply because everyone deserves grace and love? When we make choices like those...healthy choices...the universe conspires to help us. I've lived it time and time again. 
    2. "I like to high five the trees! "My kids remind me daily to stop and appreciate the awesomeness that is nature. And things that are awesome deserve high fives, right? Every time we go under a tree, whether Lia can reach it or not, she tries to give the tree a high five. She even started giving the plants low fives. Funny thing is, I started doing it, too. There's a certain sense of calm and positive vibes I get every time I touch the branches or leaves. I can't really put it into words. We know they're alive. We know they grow and change just like us. I feel darn happy when looking at trees, or anything in nature for that matter. And nothing says gratitude like a good ole fashion high five. I've been wandering around lately looking for other things to high five in life, and that makes for a fun gratitude practice. Try it and let me know how you feel!
    3. We woke up the other day and it was cold and rainy. Maybe mid 50's with a light drizzle. But still cold enough that going for a bike ride might not be the most fun thing in the world. Lia still wanted to go on the bike ride. I said yes (I like to jump at chances where my kids can learn a bit more about being hearty). We'd climbed the hill and were on our way down, as the rain was hitting our face, Lia exclaimed, "We're crazy...but crazy is good!" I had to smile, with this knowing that Lia gets it. My role as her dad is to help her keep living with this childlike wonder, this sense of doing your own thing as long as you're not harming someone else, loving people well, and making life as fun as possible. That being crazy and different and riding bikes to school when no one else was is a GOOD thing. What can you do that's crazy good in your life? And how can you do more of that?
I'm so thankful for this time I get to spend with all of my kids. I know this post was dedicated to Lia, but I learn so much about kindness from Ava. Max teaches me about wit and thinking outside the box. I'd love to hear some lessons that you've learned from your kids. 
Josh Solar

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