Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Eek! (02/25/10)
TITLE: From three wheels to four
By Yvonne Hood
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Ronnie stood looking at the dream which had suddenly come true, his chubby four year old arms folded tightly against his chest. I watched my son’s big brown eyes light up with joy. Still, he stood motionless, not even touching his brand new red and white tricycle. Finally, he walked all around the precious thing now within his grasp, He looked up at me then and asked, “Is it really all mine, Mommy?”
I assured him that it was, but a minute or two passed before he sat down on the seat. Even then he didn’t pedal. It seemed important to savor this beautiful moment.
What has happened to the years? I thought. I don’t even remember what eventually became of the tricycle! I only thought about the tricycle because today Ronnie and his dad would be bringing home what would be Ronnie’s first car.
I watched from our dining room window as Ron and his dad returned home with a pea green Datsun pickup which they agreed “didn’t have too many dents and creases.” Dad got out of the pickup and went right to work on his landscaping project. Ron just sat there, again savoring another beautiful moment. There was something about the way he looked as his hand gripped the steering wheel that brought back the almost forgotten memory. I saw him again, not as the strong, responsible 18 year old he is, but as the little four year old boy with a new red and white tricycle.
It’s a thrilling event when a young man buys his first car. Coupled with the joy however, is the knowledge of both freedom and responsibility. For moms and dads, the event heralds some anxiety and loss of sleep. We know there are dangers even for a four year old boy on a tricycle, but the chubby legs pushing the pedals to make it go never stray very far from home. He is content to make his “rurr” sound as he rides endlessly up and down the sidewalk where mom can watch just by looking out the window. Now, with his pickup, there will be new dangers facing him and I won’t see him just by looking out the window!
Things will be different now. Ron will drive to work each day and sometimes to movies and basketball games. Mom will often look out the window, waiting. It’s time to let go of the boy and trust the young man. That’s hard sometimes.
So, I stood that day, watching him from my window. I knew Ron was waiting to take me out for a “spin.” Before I grab my jacket and go out to my son, I will pause for a moment to pray for a very special 18 year old boy and his pea green pickup and for his mother who must allow her son the rights and privileges of growing up.
I walked slowly toward our front door. Have we taught him the respect for himself and others he now needs? Will he take the values we have tried to instill with him into this new and adult role?
“Yes, I know he is ready,” I said out loud. “But. am I?” I hurried out to my son and his pea green pickup.
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