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.