Growing up in Colorado, I had a pretty fabulous childhood. I did all the normal girly stuff like collecting ‘My little Pony’ and playing house with ‘Cabbage Patch Kid’ dolls ….gotta love the ‘80’s! But one of my favorite activities to partake in when I was a wee bonnie lass, was riding double seat on my best friend, Jenny’s bike! She had the most unbelievable ‘Huffy bicycle’ tricked out with a banana seat, white basket in front (just in case your ‘Care Bear’ needed a lift) and complete with plastic streamers hanging off the handle bars. That bike was the bee’s knees and I didn’t own it. How could my parents deprive me of such joy?
As a child, I was, shall we say clumsy. I lacked the ability to implement common knowledge and was constantly falling, or bumping up against something. A few examples, I thought it would be an awesome idea to use the railroad ties in my backyard as a balancing beam. You can guess how this ended, slivers of Creosote embedded in the bottom of my feat and me screaming as my Mom tried to remove them. Then there was the old take-a-seat on a barrel cactus routine, and my personal favorite, climb a fence to retrieve a puppy, then fall and break my arm. So as you can see, I had my share of accidents, but up to age 8, I always thought blood was see-through. Before you judge me, listen to my argument. After hurting myself, the first thing I did was rub the injured area, with hopes to ease the pain. As I applied adequate pressure, I thought for sure I was bleeding, because the accident hurt way too much not to draw blood. But as I pulled my hand away, I couldn’t see any blood…. so with my logic, it must be see-through!
Now jumping back to Jenny’s wicked bike. I came to the dark realization that the closest I could come to taking a sweet trip on that bike was to ride with Jenny, sitting behind her on the banana seat. Ummmmm… Even as I type this, I am thinking, “Wow! This will end badly…. maybe I should have given it some more thought before leaping onto a metal coffin, with a basket attached and an underage driver. But fortunately my father stepped in and forbid me to ride double with Jenny. I am not sure, but I think he said something about the fact that I had my own bike, blah, blah, blah, and that I could get hurt, blah, blah, blah, but I wasn’t listening.
Timing my adventure perfectly, I saw my window of opportunity. My Dad was in the garage doing manly things, and my mom was in the kitchen doing motherly things. Then I see Jenny and her spectacular bike. I ran up and asked her if I could ride double, jumped on the back and we were off. On a warm summer day, riding around the cul-de-sac, with the wind in our hair, Jenny and I felt like little Divas. With each rotation of wheel, we gained speed. As my excitement grew I leaned out to look over Jenny’s shoulder, and smacked the neighbors mailbox with my head. The force of the mailbox hitting my noggin knocked me off the bike onto the asphalt. I placed my hand on my head trying to process what had just happened. Jenny ran up to me asking if I was all right. In a daze, I slowly removed my hand from my throbbing head, catching a glimpse of bright red blood covering my hand. I screamed, “Blood is red!” and then began to cry. These are the life lessons that we have to learn the hard way.