A young girl sailed past me on her bike. This morning was a beautiful morning to be out on the beach-side path, and she was obviously enjoying the sunshine. Her dad followed behind on foot doing his running routine. A hill slowed the girl’s bike down and the girl started to turn to reduce the angle of climb. Her dad caught up with her just at the moment her handle bars started to wobble. Dad continued to run, but gently put his hand on her back transferring just enough momentum to the girl and bike to re-start her climb.
There, I thought, is a good dad. That’s what parenting can be like. Just a gentle encouragement at the critical moment. That girl will grow up remembering that loving pressure on the small of her back, and it will give her strength whenever life begins to be difficult.