December 7, 2008

Screw The Green Bike

It was late fall and Ben was eleven ("Almost twelve!"). He had been bugging me for weeks on end to get him this bike he had seen at Target.

"It's green!"

"It's the same size as your own bike."

"It's got hand brakes!"

"I'm not buying you a bike so much like your own. Yours is in fine shape."

"It's not the same! It's different!"

"No way."

This was getting wearisome, but Ben didn't know that we had already bought him an awesome 26" red bike with gears, hand brakes, rack, the works.

Christmas morning. I was right behind Ben as he approached the tree and saw the red bike parked in front of it. From the look on his face, I'm guessing the clouds parted, God rays shone down, and angels sang.

"WHOA! Screw the green bike! This one's better!"

I couldn't believe my ears. "What did you say?!"

He explained patiently, "Screw the green bike, this one's better." Hello. Duh.

"Oh."

I let it go, and he fell to examining all the perks on his new bike.

The next day I took an opportunity to speak to Ben privately.

"You know, yesterday you used a word that I'm pretty sure you didn't understand fully."

"Huh? When?"

"When you said 'Screw the green bike.'"

"So?"

"So 'screw' means the same thing as the F word."

Big eyes. "IT DOES?"

"Uh-huh."

"I DID NOT KNOW THAT."

"I was pretty sure you didn't. Just try not to use it again."

"Yeah! Okay! I really didn't know that!"

* * * * *

Ah, Christmas memories. This reminds me of my own favorite Christmas moment when I was a kid. I also got a bike: a beautiful blue StingRay bicycle. God rays shone and angels sang when I saw the banana seat and high handlebars. I could crank up to speed in two powerful pushes on the pedals, tooling through the neighborhood in the Florida sun. I managed to pop a wheelie a few times, too. I loved that bike past the time I outgrew it.
What's your favorite Christmas memory?

8 comments:

Roxrocks said...

My favorite Christmas memory is when my youngest decided she needed to find out once and for all about Santa, so she wrote him a letter that we sent up in the smoke in the fireplace that only he would know what she wished for. The look on her face the next morning, when she saw the bell and lump of coal on her plate was priceless! "How did he know?! He really IS magic!" We told her recently about all the hoops her dad had to jump through on Christmas eve to make that lump of coal appear...

Java said...

Those StingRay bicycles were the best! My brothers had them. I love the banana seat and high handlebars. That was a wonderfully ergonomic design, you know? Enough seat to actually sit on, and handle bars there where your hands actually are. I wish they made 'em like that now.

David said...

My most vivid memory is watching "Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown" at age 6 and turning to my mom and stating in a somewhat dispirited voice: "Charlie Brown isn't Jewish, is he?"
She just answered simply "no, he isn't."

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Too many good memories for me to just pick one, but I have to say I loved that feeling of being a little kid, coming down in the morning to see all the gifts under the tree and thinking "wow Santa was here last night" there was a magic to it.

Father Tony of the Farmboyz said...

Being far away from it all on vacation always near a beach.

Bandana Jack said...

pathetically, christmas has never been a good time for me. some were less irritating or painful than others, but joy was never present.

i did like my white chocolate bunny each easter.

bigislandjeepguy said...

our family had that SAME bike that was passed down from kid to kid; spraypainted when the paint was worn. i could not wait my turn to get it.

i loved christmas for my mom's famous "party punch". decorating the inside and out of our house with my dad. christmas lp's on the stereo. visiting santa near downtown and getting coloring books and candy and christmas lp's. baking cookies with my sister. holiday tv specials that only came around once a year that you could not get on dvd like now. soap-on-a-rope and soap gift packages (from avon?) that probably started my obsession with soap (hello bath and bodyworks). putting up a fresh cut tree. the sheer excitement of going to sleep on christmas eve, barely able to contain myself. mom's holiday dinners with everything homemade (i miss her stuffing, damn).

thank you for reminding me. i cannot stop smiling now thinking about all of it, especially when we do not have a tree and our floors right now are just subfloor and we are living in one room while i work on the rest of the house. i needed a little christmas today!

evilganome said...

I may have to repost the Xmas tree episode with Doris. What could be better, dysfunctional parents, a Xmas trees and a slightly boozy teenager!