Working in the backyard, I notice again the bike leaning in a corner, up against the large wooden play structure. It’s starting to look rusty, sitting there all of this time.
My son has outgrown this bike, I think to myself. Somehow I keep it here, waiting to make a decision about it.
Donate it? It’s not in good enough shape at this point. Sell it on Kijiji? The amount of effort that would take is hardly worth the 10$ I might get for it.
I roll it over past the front gate, onto the boulevard. It’s later in the day, the sun is getting lower in the sky. Using my cell phone, I take a few snapshots.
The neighbours’ daughter stops on her way to get the mail, asks me about the bike. It’s a special bike, I tell her. I inwardly notice that she looks more like a young lady now, rather than the girl she was three years ago when we first moved into this home. She moves on. I take a few more pictures.
I turn around, start walking towards the gate, and haven’t even reached it when I hear a car stop on the street behind me. A woman is already putting the bicycle into her mini-van. “It’s free?”, she confirms.
“Yes. Just needs some oil.”
She nods confidently, “Oh, we’ll be able to fix it.” Adding, “My son is 8”. We smile at each other.
“Enjoy.” I wave and slowly start walking toward the gate again.
That bike looked so big when we first got it. I am astounded at how quickly and permanently time has passed to change my perspective. Today, that same bike looks small.
And now, another eight year old boy will be excited to get it, excited to ride it through the neighbourhood and park.
Much better than watching those memories rust in the backyard.