“I am so excited!” Little Biker Boy kept saying, as he yanked my arm and hurried me through the store. “I keep thinking this is a dream. I'm worried I'm gonna wake up.”
We walked through to the back of the store, where the racks of bicycles were. Within seconds, Biker Boy had picked out the bike he wanted.
“See? It’s got pegs!” he yelled, pointing to the wheels. “It’s a Mongoose. That’s the one!”
Tall Salesperson adjusted the seat while Biker Boy jumped up and down next to the bike, talking fast. “Can you move the handlebars too? Can I have that little tool? Can you take the tags off? Can I try it now?”
“I’m going to teach you how to adjust the seat,” said Tall Salesperson. He knelt down on the floor and patiently showed Biker Boy how to adjust the seat and the handlebars.
“I love bikes!” said Biker Boy.
“Me too,” said Tall Salesperson. “I put this one together yesterday.”
“Thank you, thank you, thank you,” said Biker Boy as he rode the bicycle across the linoleum. He turned at the end of the aisle, circled back, and stopped to throw his arms around me. “I love you! I love this bike!”
I felt embarrassed by his gratitude. All I had done was drive him to the store to buy a bike I could easily afford. My husband and I had stopped at the store the day before, and we found out we wouldn’t even have to assemble the bike. We just had to walk in and buy it. Biker Boy’s gratitude was way out of proportion to the effort I’d put into the gift, but it was fun to see how enthusiastic he was. Tall Salesperson smiled at me as we watched Little Biker Boy ride in circles.
We paid for the bike and drove to a nearby park, where Biker Boy tested the bike out. He pedaled across the pavement as fast as he could, then circled back.
His last bike had been orange. He’d found the bike in our garage a couple of years ago — it had belonged to my son Shaggy Hair Boy when he was younger — and he’d adopted it. He and the orange bike had been inseparable until a few weeks ago when it was stolen from his front yard.
The new bike was blue and black, and it was just the right size. “This bike has to get used to me,” Biker said. “Just like my old bike was used to me.” He grinned at me and pedaled off again, yelling with excitement as he went.