I remember a shimmering cerulean bicycle with a crimson bow on the handle sitting under the Christmas tree. The Christmas lights were blinking and twinkling casting reflections on the brand new shiny chrome frame. My eyes tried yet failed to take in the whole spectacle before me. They were as wide as saucers, yet still my brain couldn’t process the scene.
I remember my parents, both younger than they are now, with smiles of satisfaction on their faces. This had been no easy feat. A bicycle, let alone a new bicycle had taken months to arrive. We lived on a small island with no airport or major shopping centers. This Christmas gift had been planned well in advance.
I remember attempting to hold both handles within my child-hands clutching them tightly, white knuckled as I tried to ride with my Father at my side as he held on, as he was my balance. He wasn’t going to let me fall. “All you have to do is pump your legs and keep the front wheel straight” He would say; “You can do this!” I knew I could…and I did. But not without help.
Yet standing in front of that Christmas tree, cerulean bike shimmering in the twinkling Christmas lights, I caught a glimpse. It was a glimpse not of a bike, or presents under some tree, but rather as a young child, the love that parents have (or should have) for their children. It wasn’t about spending money, or giving gifts, but rather it was about being together. It was about soaking in the presence of each other and caring for one another. I caught a glimpse of the future too. It is a future that is before me now, and on Wednesday will join a slew of other Christmas’ soon to be filed away into the ever increasing recesses of my memory, and that of the memories of my children. I am blessed. Do my children see this love in me? Am I beside them? Am I their balance in a world so often out of it?
This Christmas, there won’t be a cerulean bicycle beneath our tree…but I will be watching the faces of my children. I will be soaking up their presence – Ah yes, this is the best gift that money could never buy…which reminds me of another more everlasting gift that we have all been given.