Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter, bikes, and being good people.

We aren't a religious family, so we don't get way into Easter like some of our friends do. As Matt and I put it, the concept of celebrating Jesus becoming a zombie is kind of weird. But I love jelly beans and chocolate eggs so I am all in. I will celebrate just about anything is candy is mass marketed and packaged in a way in which you cannot say no. No matter what your thighs and ass say.

So I have to set up Easter a little bit before you see the pictures and the second half of the story. A couple of months ago, when the snow melted so we could get to the shed, I had both kids get on their bikes to see if they still fit them. I had a sneaking suspicion they wouldn't, and I ended up being right.

To say the kids were bummed was an understatement.

I told them that by the time it got warm out, I would make sure they had bikes to ride this summer. For whatever reason, my kids are the most terrified kids when it comes to learning how to ride without training wheels, so Olivia only learned last summer (right before she turned 9) and Jackson tried but cried the entire time and then gave up all together. (I remain hopeful this is the year, dammit.)

Fast forward a few weeks and I hadn't done anything. I figured maybe I could sell them, but honestly, if I got $20 for each bike, that's not enough to buy new ones so I wasn't in a rush to do that. I figured eventually I'd come up with a plan. Literally a few days after talking with Matt on what we could do with them but at the same time teach some kind of life lesson so the kids would see value in the bikes, I got a text from a friend. This friend is going through a divorce, she's amazing, her kids are so great, and I'm a sucker for helping any single mama out there trying to do the best for her kids. Maybe because it reminds me of when I was little and watching my mom work her ass off so we could have basics and learning early on that anything like a bike is a BIG deal. Of course, knowing how much bikes cost now as a parent, it's amazing to think my mom was ever able to do that for us.


She wanted to know if I had any bikes that my kids outgrew or if I had a lead on them. I immediately offered up Olivia & Jackson's bikes because I'd rather see them go to her kids knowing full well the transition their family is in. So we set up a time for the drop off and it was all set.

Now, I had told the kids that I found a home for their old bikes. They were going to go to kids they knew, but it would be a surprise, and that those kids wouldn't have bikes otherwise. Thankfully, Olivia and Jackson were SO excited to do this, that they insisted in helping Matt put air in the tires, Olivia dug through the shed looking for some bag that attached to her bike, Jackson found the training wheels for his, they were super into it. So we get them all loaded and drive over to my friend's house. As soon as they figured out where they were going, they were so thrilled. It was raining, so they didn't get out of the van, and the kids who got the bikes were so thrilled. It was easily the highlight of my March. As soon as Matt and I got back into the van, both kids were so excited and kept saying we could all do bike rides together this summer and it would be awesome. We were on our way to dinner and everyone got quiet and we were just listening to the radio when Jackson says, "You know what mom? I feel really good about myself, giving my bike like that." and Olivia follows up with, "I know, I was just thinking that. That was way nicer than putting it in a yard sale for a stranger."

That right there? That made me feel like the best parent in the world.

Fast forward a few weeks and it's getting warmer. We see kids with bikes out, and I still hadn't gotten new ones. Matt didn't get a bonus at work this year and I had banked on that to buy new ones. Thankfully my parents said they'd buy one if we'd buy the other and that we could do. So our big Easter surprise was going to be bikes. Because at least in these parts, the Easter Bunny brings outdoor toys. (Last year it was these scooters I found on clearance and some yard games.)

In addition to the bikes, this year's baskets included: a new movie, a new CD, a new water bottle, candy, a fluffy bunny, a new shirt, and bubbles.

 Jackson's Easter Basket
 Olivia's Easter Basket
 They were SO surprised to see bikes waiting for them in the dining room!
They didn't actually see their baskets and bikes until an hour before bed last night because we were at my in-laws and they had spent the night before there. So I promised they could ride this morning. Which they did. Promptly at 7:15 a.m., and it was FREEZING. I stood out there long enough to take some pictures but I went back inside.
Olivia was absolutely thrilled she didn't forget how to ride her bike.
Jackson was thrilled he still has training wheels and that his bike matched his jacket and rain boots.
They spent a good hour out there this morning riding up and down the street. By the time they came in, their cheeks were bright red and they were freezing. They are hopeful it warms up so that they can go longer. 

So that was our Easter, basically. I'm so happy that we were able to get them new bikes but at the same time, do something good for other people. 


Unknown said...

Need bikes! What a sweet story about serving others. I'm sure this has been a great experience for your children, and this positive experience will encourage them to give to others in the future as well.

The Flynnigans said...

This really warms my heart! Too many children out there are unappreciative assholes and you sound like you're really raising some pretty awesome, exemplary kids Sara. How nice of you to think of others and spreading the love around.