Monday, March 10, 2008

Almie Rose and Her Bike

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. As Christmas drew nearer, her desire for a bicycle seemed to fade, or so we thought. We purchased the latest rage, Baby-Sitter's Club dolls, and a doll house. Then, much to our surprise, on December 23rd, she said that she "really wanted a bike more than anything else."

It was just too late, what with all the details of preparing Christmas dinner and "...I'd rather keep this than get a real bike..."buying last-minute gifts, to take the time to select the "right bike" for our little girl. So, here we were - Christmas Eve around 9:00p.m., with Almie Rose and her six-year-old brother, Dylan, nestled snug in their beds. We could now think only of the bicycle, the guilt, and being parents who would disappoint their child.

"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?" her dad asked. The theory 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 four hours painstakingly working with clay to create a miniature bike.

On Christmas morning, we were 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 it and read the note aloud.

"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 real bike."

At that moment, we would have moved heaven and earth to buy her every bicycle on the planet!

by: Michelle Lawrence, Condensed Chicken Soup for the Soul

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