I used to ride around the pavements on my little green three-wheeler bike for what seemed hours. I knew where I was and could see the colour of each house gate on my side of the road. Traffic was light in those days and we had learned to listen more than look when crossing our fairly safe roads. So one day, I was nearly home coming up to the first black gate in our avenue. The next second, I was on my back. Above me was a dark metal mass smelling of very warm oil. I lay dazed, not in pain and not at all frightened. Somehow I switched off and have no memory of the things that must have happened next. As far as I was concerned, I was then in our bathroom at home being washed down and tidied up. My knees were bleeding but I felt OK. It turned out that the chap who owned the local newsagent had backed out on to me and my precious bike was in two pieces while I remained one complete undamaged child.
IN a matter of days, the bike had been put together again and Humpty Dumpty was able to resume the role of king of the road, or at least of the pavement. I can only imagine that Mum was at the window or out of sight nearby consumed with sheer worry; but what fantastic parenting!!! Less courageous people would have allowed such an accident to become a barrier to the goal of independent living for their at-risk offspring. I think I have inherited that ability to take risks while learning from experiences. As a result, some of my mistakes have been costly but better to have risked and grown than never to have grown at all.