I always started the countdown to my birthday on The Fourth of July because that meant there were just six more agonizing days until the big day. I remember my 10th birthday like it was yesterday. It was the weekend and I had been outside playing with friends. When I came home, I walked through the front door and headed straight for my bedroom. On the way there, I noticed my dad sitting on the couch with the newspaper spread open before him like a giant tent. As I approached my room, I noticed the door was shut, which seemed odd as I didn’t recall closing it when I left earlier in the day. I reached for the doorknob, opened the door, and immediately pulled the door closed after a brief glimpse of what was inside. I remember thinking to myself: “am I dreaming?” and “am I in the right place??” My hand was still on the doorknob and I turned it again, slowly. I peeked into my room again and it was still there!! I opened the door all the way and started to jump up and down which is when I noticed my dad, paper folded in his lap, watching my reaction to seeing the brand new, lime green, 10 speed Schwinn bike sitting in my bedroom.
I’m not exactly sure what happened next, but I hope a hug for my parents was a part of it before I pedaled away.
There haven’t been many bikes in my life since the green Schwinn. In fact, I can probably count them on one hand. However, I was lucky enough to receive a new bike as a gift this year. The difference being that this time around, it would not come as a surprise. As an avid cyclist and racer, I special ordered the bike in the fall and was told not to expect it until spring. The weeks of waiting for the bike turned into months. The wait became agonizing, and this time I didn’t have a definite timeframe for the countdown. Then one day mid January, my phone started to ring. I saw that it was the bike shop calling, and I couldn’t stop myself from jumping up and down… just like I did when I was 10.
I picked up the bike the following week. I’m not exactly sure what happened next, but I hope a hug for my husband was a part of it before I pedaled away.