We got a new little 50cc when we were growing up. If you’re not sure what that is, it’s practically a motorcycle for toddlers. What an awesome and safe idea, right?

It was yellow and navy blue from what I can remember, and roared like a deadly beast from the belly of a cave. Or maybe it just kind of sounded that way when it was my turn to try the first time. I was terrified. I was pretty little. We still lived with the step-dad, so I must have been about five years old.

I put that helmet over my blonde bowl cut hair and shook my way onto that little 50cc with my mother holding the back steady while she sort of explained what I’d do. Or maybe she told me explicitly and I was too terrified to listen.

Either way, I heard her say go, and with all sisters eyes on me, I listened to the woman and ripped back that gas handle like I was batman. Or Evil Knievel. Whoever rode a bike most radically, that was me.

The thing is. I was a little blonde haired scaredy-cat five year old learning to ride a motorcycle in my mother’s backyard. Things were not going to go well for me. I froze with my hand locked into high gear and spun around that yard until I fell over sideways. Still not moving my hand due to sheer shock, the back wheel began kicking up grass and dirt like a feisty retriever with a bone until my little foot got caught, and my mother caught up to rip my hand from the bike handle. She was laughing. My mother was laughing. She laughed the entire time I was nearing my childhood death. She didn’t mean to in a bad way, she just so happens to laugh like she’s watching this all happen on America’s Funniest Home Videos a decade after the event and everyone turns out okay rather than with her very own eyes and in the moment. I think it’s also hereditary, as I also do this now.

New toys can be such a bust sometimes. Though I never cared for driving motorcycles after that, I also wasn’t terrified of them either. And I guess I should’ve been since in my little mind, I’d nearly died. But it simply set me up to know I would never be Batman, or Evil K. I could possibly be Robin in the side-kart, and that would be cool enough for me.

See when we try stuff that scares us, we have a choice. Either it inhibits our viewpoint of something entirely if it doesn’t go our way, or empower us to seek out the other ways we can appreciate life’s little toys. It was just a little 50cc. But to a little five year old girl, it was more likely a deadly beast roaring from the belly of a cave.