Sisu: (see’-soo) noun
strength of will; determination; perseverance; regarded as an integral part of Finnish culture.
I am about a quarter Finnish, my children are one eighth, but Hank is the definition of Sisu. And I love him for that, even if I can’t keep up with him. Which, I really can’t.
We have put off teaching the kids how to ride bikes for a few different reasons.
- Warmer weather brings seasonal allergies.
- We’re not really an outdoorsy family.
- Eh, bikes.
But this quarantine is the time. It really is. I’ve seen so many videos and photos of Hank’s friends learning how to ride two wheelers right now. I don’t want to continue to hold him back.
We have a bike for Hank. It is a bright gold number that has (had) his brother’s name on it stuck on with by a label maker. It has training wheels, hand brakes and a really cool vibe to it. He loves it. Like, wants to fly down the sidewalk and leave us behind him as he travels the far reaches of the two blocks he is allowed to ride.
He streaks down the sidewalk with the blue of his helmet, knee, elbow and hand pads mixing with the shiny gold bike. His “WOOS!” following behind him, to catch on me as I walk/run to keep up.
This brave child is the same who would climb a half wall to walk it like a tight rope walker, who yells at large dogs who dare bark at us (he doesn’t yell at ours, but grounds her, instead.) He is the same child who looks at bigger kids and sees them as his equals.
I know that he isn’t excited about the idea of the trainers coming off, but he will be determined to make it work, to make the bike fly – to let the wind take him on new adventures.
I’ll still be run/walking behind him. Out of breath, marveling of how little Finn is in him, but how much of him is Finn.