Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Drew's Last Ride

When Megan was 3 years old, Santa brought her and Luke (6 weeks old) a red Power Wheels jeep. That jeep got years and years of love and use out of it. Except by the time Joshua was old enough to play with it, it was old and had been thrown out. Around that time, we inherited a pink hand-me-down jeep from somewhere, and though it barely worked Joshua discovered he loved it, but the frustration of it never working drove us all crazy.

Our neighbors at this time had a 4-wheeler Power Wheels that rarely got used. It sat in their garage in almost pristine condition and really the only time it was ever ridden was when Joshua would wander over and ask to play with it. Instead of Joshua constantly borrowing it, I offered to buy it from the neighbors, and for a pretty decent price my two younger boys have had hours and hours of play with that thing.

My children have worn the tires bare, Luke once used the seat to cut a piece of leather on, leaving some nice cut marks on it, the trailer has hauled children, hay, candy, and I'm quite sure even Hank the goat once rode in it when he was a baby. I'm fairly certain that little 4-wheeler has logged almost as many miles on it than some people's vehicles.

Except for the last several months the 4-wheeler has mostly sat in our garage in a fairly difficult to get to location. The battery didn't last as long at a time as it once did, and the speed of the 4-wheeler was getting slower and slower even with a "full" battery. Every so often I would think about selling it, but I just couldn't, and neither could Drew or Joshua if they heard me talk about it. We all felt sort of endeared to a silly toy taking up way too much room in our garage, but was so often forgotten because BMX bikes and bike jumps came first.

There are so many "lasts" we never know will be lasts. Which I am actually very grateful for. I know my heart would break far too easily if I knew each last was indeed a last. I'm glad I didn't know whenever it was that Megan grabbed my hand to hold in a store for the last time. Maybe I'm glad I didn't know one time laying in bed with Luke that it was the the last time I was telling him a Little Green Helicopter story. I don't remember knowing whenever it was that Ellie was sucking her thumb for the last time. I don't remember knowing Joshua's last time riding Ellie's hand-me-down pink tricycle that he loved to ride would have been his last.

But for whatever reason, I want to remember today. I want to forever hold in my mind, the picture of Drew climbing on the 4-wheeler and riding it for the last time. Drew rode it from our garage out to the cul-de-sac to a waiting car. And in all honesty, I thought I was going to cry.

I know it is only a 4-wheeler. A tangible, well-worn object that likely doesn't have too many more months of life left in it.  My baby rides a BMX bike and daringly jumps off of jumps. The 4-wheeler is no longer his transportation of choice.

But this morning, Drew's last ride was the end of a long era.

This morning as I was gathering up the charger and battery in anticipation of the "online-yard-sale-site-buyer" coming to purchase it, I remembered the experience buying formula for the last time for Drew that I wrote about HERE. And I knew, I needed to give the 4-wheeler away instead of selling it. My older children thought I was crazy not to get "something out of it" and were all quite willing to take over the transaction, so that I didn't give it away. But I told them they didn't understand. I had to give it away. My mother heart didn't care about making any money from my memories.

As long as the younger-than-me-mother who I gifted the 4-wheeler to this morning gets even an ounce of satisfaction and memories watching her children play on the 4-wheeler, I will always hold dear the memory of Drew's last ride this morning.

(Joshua and Drew--August 2011)

Enjoy the little things in life. One day you'll look back and realize they were the big things.


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