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 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
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!