bike helmet

Parents are apparently raising a nation of wimps.

The mental state of students is now so precarious for so many that, says Steven Hyman, provost of Harvard University and former director of the National Institute of Mental Health, “it is interfering with the core mission of the university.”

I’m trying my best not to raise two weenies. Really, I am.

Simone and Nadia have discovered their bikes. Each day they want to strap on their ladybug helmets and pink knee pads, and ride, ride, ride. Except they don’t ride very well.

I’ve watched from afar as they both have fallen over like trees for no apparent reason. It’s like someone yelled “Timber!” They just start slowly leaning until they are on the ground.

Both are sporting scabs on their knees and elbows. Simone got hers while riding her bike without training wheels, while Nadia got hers while riding her bike with training wheels. I didn’t think the latter was possible. Who falls off a bike with three wheels? My kid does.

Her problem is speed. She thinks she’s in a race or something. I’ve told her  to slow down. When she doesn’t, the wheels leave the sidewalk. She’ll learn.

Simone and Nadia also get in each other’s way.  Simone tries to pass her sister on a curve, and Nadia tries to keep up with her sister. Next thing I know both of them are on the sidewalk, wailing.

I don’t remember childhood being this tough. There certainly were fewer parents hanging around. I’m not there yet. I’m worried about all of the cars. When my two can show me that they can navigate each other, maybe just maybe they can go out on their own.