Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Bike


It was red and white and it was mine. On one of the weekend visits, Grandma and Grandpa T came with a bicycle tied to the roof rack of the car. I could hardly contain myself as Grandpa and Dad untied it. But wait, what is that? Are those what I think they are? Oh, man, they sure are… training wheels… I don't need those dang things, I thought. Well, maybe Dad won't put them on. I started to get on it and Dad said "NO, I need to put the training wheels on." I told him that I didn't need them. The look on his face pretty much said it all. He was going to put them on, he didn't care what I thought or said. I looked at Mom, pleading with her, she knew, I REALLY didn't need to have those dang "baby wheels" on my bike. She just looked at me. I reminded Mom that I could already ride a bike, I didn't need to have the training wheels. I think at that very moment she must have gone deaf because she said not one word. She didn't even acknowledge that she heard me. I was getting panicky now. I stood there as I watch Dad start putting on those damn training wheels. My mind was reeling, trying to figure out how I could convince him that I didn't need them. It was no use. I was stuck with those stupid, ugly things.
I was beside myself with excitement in spite of the icky baby wheels. I got on it and though I fought those stupid wheels, I was in heaven… my own bike! There really wasn't a lot of room to ride it. We didn't have sidewalks or anything, but I didn't really care.
I waited a day or two and asked Mom again if I could PLEEEEASSSE have those training wheels taken off my bike. She just looked at me hopelessly. I wasn't sure what that meant. I just got the sense that my request some how confused her. Of course now, older and a little more aware, I realize it was just one of those instances that her hands were tied. What Dad said… well, that was it. No discussion. It was that way with EVERYTHING.
You see, I REALLY didn't need those stinkin' training wheels. Several weeks before I got my own bike I had been playing over at the rotten kids' house. The older brother had a 10-speed bike and I asked him if I could ride it. Uh, did I mention that I had NEVER been on a two-wheeler before? Did I mention this small fact to the kid? Oh, hell, no! Did I even realize that I might not be able to ride his bike? Didn't even give it a thought. I just had it in my head that I was going to ride it. In my head; pure and simple. I walked the bike over to the front porch, where it would be easier for me to get up onto the seat…once I did that, I was off and riding all over the place. It was SOOO much fun. I no doubt had a huge grin on my face the whole time. I was having such a blast and I was so excited that I rode a two-wheeler!
I high-tailed it across the street, up the hill, and burst through the front door, looking for Mom. I was so excited, I wanted her to see. I told her to come out and stand on the porch, I wanted to show her something. I ran back across the street and got on the bike again. I rode where she could see me. I glanced at her. Even from where I was, I could see the look of complete shock on her face. I was literally bursting at the seams with excitement.
When I went back home, Mom asked me who had been teaching me to ride a bike, I told her no one. I told her it was Greg's ( the big brother of his bratty siblings), and he let me ride it. I told her I just got on it. She was a little worried that the bike was a little too big for me, but I just shrugged it off. That is until something happened that made me realize just exactly what she meant by the bike not being quite right for me.
Once again I was riding that bike around. Greg was really good about letting me ride it around. Since I was so little in comparison to the bike, I couldn't sit on the seat and pedal, I had to stand up. Well…. I was just riding around and I decided to speed up a bit so I started pushing those pedals harder… suddenly my foot slipped and WHHHAMMMMMM! I came down on that bar!!! I thought that I had just died. I could barely walk my crotch hurt so damn bad. I hobbled home, crying myself senseless. I sucked it up just before I got into the house. I didn't really want Mom to know what had happened because she didn't really like the idea of me riding that bike and I didn't want to hear her say, "I knew that it wasn't a good idea for you to be on a bike that big." What kid would want to hear that? ESPECIALLY a stubborn kid.
I went into the bathroom. I felt like I had broken my crotch. When I took my pants down, there was some blood in my underwear. I freaked! OH, NO! I DID break my crotch! The crying started all over again. Mom heard me and came into the bathroom. No doubt she was thinking in total frustration..."Good, God, now what?"
I told her what happened and there was that look. The one I didn't want to see. She told me to just keep an eye on the bleeding if it didn't stop or get less, to let her know. I remember being VERY uncomfortable for a few days then everything was fine. But I will never forget that pain. NEVER!

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