My aunt bought me the white and blue tricycle when I turned one. It was too big for me. I continued to grow, but my feet still refused to reach the pedals. I was short. I am short. I drove my Mom crazy by holding onto the handlebars and pushing myself around the gravel driveway, one foot on the step on the back, the other pushing off the rocks. My own makeshift two-year-old scooter.
I was ahead of my time.
It was lost in the bowels of the shed when BigBrother was small enough to ride it properly. He tried yesterday; his knees hit the handlebars, making it almost impossible to pedal. He looked at me with a disgusted look on his face and abandoned the “baby” trike for my brother’s old Little Tikes green tractor, zooming around the front porch and pretending to throw candy like they had seen in the parade earlier that day.
LittleBrother sat down on the trike and began to push off. I was dismayed to see that he fit, all too well, on my old trike. I watched him make his way across the yard, my heart squeezing tightly as he hummed a little song to himself. I looked at the old rust spots along the back steps, cutting into the bright white that once was so shiny. The rust across the handbars. The faded blue. The faded brand picture. In essence, my childhood… faded.
My last child fits perfectly on a piece of my childhood, one that is in my earliest actual memories. One that sparkles and shines in old, equally faded photographs. One that was discarded later for a purple big-girl bike.
Soon, he will discard it too… as he will discard his own Toy Story tricycle. There will be bigger and better bikes. More memories. More fading. More aging, on all parts.
I wonder if I’ll keep his tricycle. Or if my parents will continue to keep my old, rusty, faded trike. I wonder if my own grandkids will ride on his… or mine. And then I’m snapped back from wondering when he shoots me one of those smiles that only he can shoot. He is so proud of the trike.
As I am proud of him.