My favorite Christmas gift was not receiving the present “Santa” had planned to put under the tree.
I was five years old and my dad, Vern, whispered to me that he heard a rumor from up North that Santa was considering giving me my own Schwinn bike.
I started to cry and uttered, “I don’t want a bike for Christmas! That Santa can stick it back on his sleigh.”
Poor Vern was dumbfounded and must have taken the news back to Mrs. Claus, Irene, to figure things out.
Early Christmas morning, I rushed down the stairs to find a cool, electric train zipping around the tree. I was full of joy. No Schwinn.
The story behind the story? I loved to ride on my brother, Eddie’s handlebars. It was the best seat in Ames, Iowa. It made us a dynamic duo, and it proved Eddie’s love for me.
The following August, on my birthday, I received the bright red Schwinn that had been hidden up in the attic. At age six, I was ready to pedal on my own. And Eddie helped me stay upright for the next few years.