A pink bicycle with handlebar streamers and an ice cream truck bell waited in our house all week for a birthday surprise for Adeline, our neighbor who was turning six years old. Her dad stored the bike at our house to make sure it wasn’t discovered before its time.
Grandpa and grandma were down from Delaware. Video camera batteries were charged fully and the stage was set. Then our door bell rang and daddy Greg was there to wheel the surprise over to his house.
We followed him with the camera to record the moment and got just the reward we were looking for: through the view finder leaped a thrilled-beyond-words, literally jumping for joy child who was tickled pinker than a handlebar streamer to see the royal carriage rolling her way in daddy’s hands.
She ran across the yard to meet him, shouting deliriously, “It’s just what I dreamed.”
Daddy’s love to fulfill the dreams of their children. It’s seldom easy because the dreams daddy’s want their children to dream too often are bigger than daddy. When we luck out and strike the right chord and respond correctly to the right cues our own joy is a big explosion in a small container, fueled by our child’s joy.
Adeline herself is a dream come true. She is a miracle baby having had several operations as an infant and her parents still are ever alert to fevers. All the neighbors know to be extra attentive.
All afternoon Adeline worked to learn how to ride that pink bike. Balance was still a problem and she didn’t reach that one magical moment when learning to ride a bike when you’re just about to tip over but something clicks and instead of putting your foot out to brace yourself, you push hard one more time on the pedal and your momentum catches and you’re riding.
After persistent effort, one day she hopped on that bike and zoomed down her driveway completely in control, her hair flying and her smile a wonder.
I imagine her daddy looking out the window, thanking God and saying, “It’s just what I dreamed.”