Wednesday, May 15, 2013

washing, oiling, and learning

My sweet boy loves to ride his bicycle. We were given one last fall that was perfect for him... until he had the nerve to grow. And grow. And wow that bike looks tiny now just 6 months later. So we plotted to buy him a bigger one for his birthday, but we lucked into a friend who needed to unload one and voila. Yesterday we surprised him early with a shiny, barely used and new to him bicycle.

And today... it was gone. I was standing by the marina bike rack where he always very carefully locks it up. I was just hanging around watching Naia torture ants (ooops, that one dead now. oooops, he not moving. why they keep dying when I play with them?) and I glanced at the bike rack and noticed his new bike was not there. 

When I inquired about it you could literally see his little almost 9 year old wheels turning in his unwashed head. "Oh. Ohhhhh no. I think I did something really dumb." 

He started to run around the marina glancing here and there, wheels still turning. I kept asking him what happened and how can I help him look. And then he told me, "Well, I left it on the dock and now..."

ON. THE. DOCK?!?! Are you kidding me. This child, this child who has been calling this boat home since he was 3 days old. This child who has seen everything from a large tomato plant to a small dog go over the edge of the dock and into the murky oblivion of the Chesapeake Bay gone forever. This child who is almost 9 years old and should know better. That child put his brand new bike on the edge of the finger pier (the skinny wobbly one that sticks out from the main dock) on a wicked windy day and left it there over night. And forgot all about it.

Fast forward to the dumb luck portion of our show. I counted it as dead and gone. I told him if he wanted to scrape together his change and ask our marina friend Diver Mike to go down and search for it that was ok, but that he better ask Mike soon because a bicycle can only take so much time in salty muck before Poseidon calls finders keepers on it. My husband all the while was lying on his belly in his just home from work nice clothes with the boat hook all the way extended poking systematically through the water. Roughly a half hour of poking later he hit metal. Not only that, he managed to haul the bike up with the boat hook.

I was happy for the rescue, but still fuming about the whole scenario. We told Zach the protocol for bringing it back to life. Washing down with fresh water, oiling all the critical parts, and of course getting it OFF the dock and back over to the bike racks where it belongs. I left him to his task still shaking my head.  My wise friend Behan gently reminded me that this was all a good thing. "Washing, oiling, and LEARNING", she said. 

They grow. They learn. We wince. It's all good.


lislawlor said...

Great story and writing, Cindy. So true and I am happy it was saved:) The finger pier- gasp!

San said...

Actions and consequences, that is a pretty good way of learning.

I found your blog via a forgotten link and have enjoyed your stories, so I hope you don't mind my dropping by!


Rhonda from Baddeck said...

I'm so glad it could be retrieved - my first thought was that it had been stolen. Zach will get to know how the bike works and that's always a good thing. I'm sure he'll be MUCH more careful with it in the future!

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

Well, relieved that it was found. I too immediately thought Stolen; great to hear that i t not the case. He's learning, that's for sure !~!

Joy said...

Oh I'm so glad it was found. I only remember seeing on Fb that it took a dive. I agree with your friend, a great lesson indeed.

Red Charlotte said...

I loved his process of remembering and then his admission of doing something 'really dumb.' Very self-reflective for a 9 year old! Glad you got it back!

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