Yog has been riding a pink, baby, Disney cycle over the last year. Neither the pink color, nor the Disney Princesses bothered him or his friends, even for a moment. At one point of time, the pink cycle used to proudly carry three young boys on it’s miniature wheels. As Yog enters another year, and the wheels of the cycle start to wear, I finally decided it was time to retire the pink cycle and move to a new one. The new cycle is bigger, bolder and blue in color with shining silver balances on the side. It looked just right for Yog but I was worried that he might hurt himself for it could go much faster than the baby cycle.
Before Yog got on the new cycle, I urged him to wear a cycling helmet. He looked at me enquiringly, “Why do I need to wear a helmet?” I buckled the helmet and said, “Because helmets keep us safe.” Yog was satisfied with this answer. Without wasting another second he sat on the new cycle and pedaled hard. It was soon obvious that the cycle was indeed too fast for Yog and he was unable to control it. He tried to put his feet down to stop the cycle only to realize that his feet were no longer touching the ground. I panicked, expected a crash and realized another fact – Yog didn’t know how to use the brakes. He had never used brakes on the pink cycle as he could just keep his feet down to stop the cycle.
Even though my heart had stopped beating, Yog was as cool as ice. Within seconds he reached out to a wall on the side and used it as support to stop the rushing cycle. He then shouted back at me, “Mama, don’t worry! I am wearing a Helmet. I will not fall down!” For a moment, I thought I didn’t hear him correctly. I was like, “Huh! Who told him that?”
Before Yog could speed away again and look for walls to stop him, I ran up to him and explained the use of brakes. We practiced braking a few times till I felt confident he was ready to go on the road. As soon as we went on the road, Yog saw a truck coming towards us and he moved to the side of the road and stopped. I patted him for driving safe. He quickly looked up to me with an expression, which said, “Mom, you don’t understand.” and remarked, “Mama, I am wearing a helmet. My helmet told me that truck is coming, so move to the side.”
I couldn’t help but smiling now. After a few casual rounds on the cycle, Yog coaxed his friend (riding the smaller pink cycle) into a race. I cautioned Yog and said, “Yog, let’s not race today. This cycle goes very fast and you don’t have enough practice on the brakes.” Yog shrugged and gave me the same look again. With that came the ready response, “Mama!! Relax! I am wearing a helmet. I will be safe.”
Huh! By now, I was wondering whether the helmet was a good choice or a bad choice, for today. Nonetheless, I was impressed by Yogs’ faith in that simple blue device. It had given him the confidence to step out into the world on a higher, faster cycle which even had brakes. Wow! If this is the power of wearing helmets, we should wear it too when trying out new things. I hope it can make us adults also believe that as long as we are wearing it, everything is going to be all right.