Stingray bikes with a banana seat was the dream bike for me back in the day. Of course, it needed to have pink ribbons hanging out of the handlebars and a white basket with flowers on it to make it complete.
Oh, how I longed for a bike like this, especially since my neighborhood friend seemed to get all the nicest items, meaning she owned my dream bike.
When my birthday came around, I was hopeful. I had given enough not-so-subtle hints. I’m sure a young pastor doesn’t make a lot but as a child, I didn’t comprehend what this meant in regards to my wants. I’m sure my parents wanted very much to please me but maybe I wasn’t specific enough.
On my birthday, I did get a bike but it wasn’t pretty and pink but used and blue. The white wicker basket was also missing and in it’s place was a square wire basket. Grateful to have a bike, even without a banana seat, I tried hard to not show my disappointment.
I rode that ugly thing for several years.
One day I decided to take it up to the top of a long hill in the neighborhood, multiple blocks long. I began my decent but unprepared, the evil bike had a mind of its own. I couldn’t slow it down. The handlebars began to shake. The next thing I know I flew over the bike and onto the unforgiving pavement.
A sweet soul saw the whole thing as she drove toward me. Road rash on my knees and the length of my arms and bike mangled, she drove me home.
I remember sitting in the bathroom crying as my mother tended to my wounds. Then the most amazing happy thought change my perspective. Now we could get rid of that ugly thing and just maybe I’d get my dream bike.
I gingerly walked outside, wrapped in more gauze than Lazareth, and found my father proudly fixing the blue mangled mess. He was in the process of straightening the wire basket at that moment. My heart fell but he was so happy to show me it still worked. What could I say?
I never did get my dream bike but I was incredibly fortunate to have such loving parents, worth so much more than any pretty possession.