It's two toiling visits later and things are proceeding very well with boy t. We have quickly stepped foot into some significant personal issues, and trust has built comfortably over several visits. By the third visit I had realized that due to childhood circumstances, the boy never learned to ride a bike, and since I wanted him to join Me, I decided he should learn now in his 30s. he expressed some doubts about clumsiness and general trepidation but I figured it was manageable and resolved to take it one step at a time.
I had us both watch online videos describing the learning steps. Then I got a 24 hr bike share membership and began by having him simply sit on the bike in its station, just to get used to the idea. Over the course of the next day we went to several other stops and practiced just getting used to the feeling of being in motion coasting and building his confidence. I sent him home encouraged, with instructions to seek other bike shares near his home and keep practicing. Over the course of the next few weeks, he worked at it, and incurred a rather impressive number of bruises from the pedals. To help the effort, I had him buy a pair of padded cycling bibs. By time he next returned, he seemed to have hit a plateau in his ability to self teach and My ability explain. So I found a 1:1 class at REI and announced he was attending, with Me there to observe. By this time it was clear that the bike share bikes just don't have the right geometry for his height and shape, in particular the pedals are too far back for My comfort and certainly for his ease. Despite the considerable heat, after a two hour coaching session with an actual teacher, he had made huge progress and had successfully coasted a good distance, slalomed around cones, and pedaled in a straight line. I declared the day victorious and took him to lunch.
Later we went to a different REI to "test ride" a bike, really just to get him more practice on a bike that actually fit him. More steady progress but night fell and it was again time to stop just as it felt he was having a break through.
The next day he was to head back out of town, so I took us once again to REI where we rode the same bike as two days before. In a back parking lot, we found a variety of inclines which helped him get some initial motion and made getting started easier. Now that he had access to a properly fitting bike, all was proceeding apace.
I will confess that I wanted to send him home feeling successful and accomplished, and in My enthusiasm, I suggested he change his path through the parking lot to one that would give him the largest possible arc of travel. Unfortunately, I misjudged just how much additional incline that path provided. Like the good boy he is, he again did as suggested, and had a nice long, victorious ride before taking his first fall. And it was a good one.
Not only was he road rashed and bleeding from elbow and knee, but his hand took a good hit as well. The bike no longer had handlebars where they belonged, they had rotated 90 degrees. I eventually had a pointed conversation with the store manager about failure to properly assemble the bike and failure to appropriately respond to a customer bleeding from three major joints. No first aid had been offered, no manager called. All we got was an employee looking at the wildly misaligned handlebars and saying unhelpfully, "That's not supposed to happen."
A week later the boy's knee continues to present new shades of purple, and his elbow - which had looked the worst initially - is hugely improved and healing well. His palm had looked bruised and had a skin break, but 9 days later he continues to have pain and weakness. As of tonight, he is being treated from what we presume is a fractured wrist. Soft cast, and appointment with an orthopedist in a few days.
Remarkably, he evidences no rancor against Me, or even unwillingness to continue learning at an appropriate time, and as always, I stand in amazement at a true submissive's willingness to obey. I am struggling with feeling bad about his injuries. I tell Myself that just as chicken pox are minor as a child and major as an adult, so too is learning to ride and falling off a bike. I tell Myself it's impossible to learn to ride without falling some, so the fact I chose that unfortunate route matters less, and yes, if he feels he lacks capacity to do anything I ask, he knows he should say so, and I really thought he could handle it. It was an honest mistake. But in truth that helps not at all; I take My boy's trust and his injuries very much to heart. I pushed him too hard, I was not as patient as I intended to be. The only thing I feel good about right now is that in his pain, I gave him comfort and appropriate care. I believed him when he reported symptoms and I have actively monitored his healing daily. I pressed him to see a doctor when the hand did not improve. I tell Myself Masters are human and will inevitably make mistakes, that what matters is taking care of the property, physically and emotionally, when something happens. It's the right answer for My intellect, but it's not very satisfying for My spirit.
I'm very proud of My boy for all his determination and hard work and his fantastic attitude to the whole challenging undertaking. Anyone who thinks being on the boy's side of the /s slash is easy or wimpy should take a long hard look at him right now. I've always taken My responsibilities as the Master and Dominant very seriously, but seeing him in a cast as the direct result of My wishes takes Me into new territory, and brings Me face to face with the fact I'm less patient than I like to believe, and I'm not very good at forgiving Myself. In fact, much of My success in life can probably be traced to refusing to accept My flaws and errors, and forcing Myself to be exceptionally competent. It's a standard I don't ask others to meet at the same level.
I've had only one prior experience where I felt this badly about something that happened with a boy, and that sucked too. In the end, in order to achieve some peace, I had him kneel and thank Me for the scene; describe how much he wanted it and liked submitting to Me; and I had him absolve Me of any errors, real or perceived. That boy thought it slightly silly and didn't really think I should feel so badly, but I did, and that's perhaps one of the things about being the Master that folks on the /s side don't intuit, the powerful feeling of weighty responsibility. It may be time to trot out that absolution technique again.