Almie Rose

It was at least two months before Chirstmas when nineyear-old Almie Rose told her father and me that she wanted a new bicycle. As Chirstmas 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 buying lastminute gifts, to take the time to select the “right bike” for our little girl. So, here we were -Chirstmas Eve around 9:00 p.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?” my husband asked. The theory being that since this is a highticket 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 paintstakingly working with clay to create a miniature bike.

On Chirstmas 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?”

“Yes.” I said beaming. 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!

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