It was at least two months before Christmas, when nine-year-old
Almie Rose told her father and me that she wanted a new bicycle. Her old Barbie bicycle
was just too babyish, and besides it needed a new tire.
As Christmas drew nearer, her desire for a bicycle seemed to fade--
or so we thought, as she didn't mention it again. Merrily, we started purchasing the
latest rage--Baby-Sitter's Club dolls--and beautiful story books, a doll house, a holiday
dress and toys. Then, much to our surprise, on December 23rd she proudly announced that
she "really wanted a bike more than anything else."
Now we didn't know what to do. It was just too late, what with all
the details of preparing Christmas dinner and buying last-minute gifts, to take the time
to select the "right bike" for our little girl. So here we were--Christmas Eve
around 9pm, having just returned from a wonderful party, contemplating our evening
ahead...hours of wrapping children's presents, parent's presents, a brother's presents and
friend's presents. With Almie Rose and her six-year-old brother, Dylan, nestled snug in
their beds, we could now think only of the bike, the guilt and the idea that we were
parents who would disappoint their child.
That's when my husband, Ron, was inspired. "What if I make a
little bicycle out of clay and write a note that she could trade the clay model in for a
real bike?" The theory, of course, being that since this is a high-ticket item and
she is "such a big girl," it would be much better for her to pick it out. So he
spent the next five hours painstakingly working with clay to create a miniature bike.
Three hours later, on Christmas morning, we were so excited for
Almie Rose to open the little heart-shaped package with the beautiful red and white clay
bike and the note. Finally, she opened and read the note aloud.
She looked at me and then at Ron and said, "So, does this mean
that I trade in this bike that Daddy made me for a real one?"
Beaming, I said, "YES."
Almie Rose had tears in her eyes when she replied, "I could
never trade in this beautiful bicycle that Daddy made me. I'd rather keep this than get a
At that moment, we would have moved Heaven and Earth to buy her
every bicycle on the planet!
I got this via multiply-forwarded email. If you know who the author
is, please let me know as I'd like to properly acknowledge it.