Listen to your mother.
I told him it would happen.
I told both my boys.
And, it happened.
Eerily ironic, my lesson came at the age of five weeks after turning 16.
This same weekend, two decades ago, my cousin, days away from signing a professional motocross contract with Malcolm Smith, raced his home track.
It was day two of the weekend race.
His bike had acted up the day prior, and he’d spent the night awake on fine-tuning it, tweaking the engine to assure the day’s victory.
With the first lap behind him, my cousin’s bike’s engine seized as he headed up the face of a jump.
My cousin rotated forward, up and over the orange bike’s handlebars.
Rider and bike separate.
He lands, the bike finds him and crashes onto his back, leaving him on the track, paralyzed.
A dirt bike I told my child never to get on.
Not this one.
“No dirt bikes or motorcycles. Ever!” were my precise words.
While on the forbidden dirt bike my son hit a rock, and in the chaos of Newton’s First Law of Motion continued until the external force of finding a tree happened.
At this point, the dirt bike came down, with him under it, and his helmet hit his shoulder.
The result of his breaking Mom’s rule is a hairline fracture to his collarbone.
I’m gathering, from watching and hearing him, it’s quite painful.
Behind closed doors, I have cried.
He’s my baby; my firstborn.
As my son relays the incident, there was some good come from it, “It’s the last time I’ll ever get on one (a dirt bike).”
And so, with the help of a dirt bike, my son starts his summer after graduating with a valuable life lesson, Listen to your mother!