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. Her old
Barbie bicycle was just too babyish, and besides it needed a new
As Christmas drew nearer, her desire for a bicycle seemed to fade--
or so we thought, as she didn't mention it again. Merrily, we
started purchasing the latest rage--Baby-Sitter's Club dolls--and
beautiful story books, a doll house, a holiday dress and toys. Then,
much to our surprise, on December 23rd she proudly announced that she
"really wanted a bike more than anything else."
Now we didn't know what to do. 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 9pm, having just
returned from a wonderful party, contemplating our evening
ahead...hours of wrapping children's presents, parent's presents, a
brother's presents and friend's presents. With Almie Rose and her
six-year-old brother, Dylan, nestled snug in their beds, we could now
think only of the bike, the guilt and the idea that we were parents
who would disappoint their child.
That's when my husband, Ron, was inspired. "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?" The theory, of course, 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 five hours
painstakingly working with clay to create a miniature bike.
Three hours later, on Christmas morning, we were so 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 and read the
She looked at me and then at Ron and said, "So, 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!