What you may have seen as an invitation to us was just an open gate. Maybe we left it open in a moment of forgetfulness or maybe it was just naive to think we had to close it to keep people off of our property. I wonder what you were thinking as you strode or drove down our driveway. Did you notice the apple trees had been pruned? Did you see the chalk drawings on the cement? Did you notice the kids bikes also & considering loading them up in the back of the trike? Were you hoping the neighbors dogs wouldn't bark? Were you surprised when the motion light came on illuminating the carport where our trike was parked? Did you stumble on to it or did you know it was there? I wonder what has happened in your life that you are out in the middle of the night sneaking around people's backyards & taking things that don't belong to you.
What you didn't see were the memories we had in that trike. The time my 70-year-old mom tried to ride it but it looked like it would tip over each second she was on it. You didn't get to hear the laughter than ensued from that. Nor did you hear the glee that my kids had every time they rode in the back & we were going downhill. You didn't' see my husband painstakingly measure out & cut the back seat/trunk to specific specifications. You didn't see the glee he had when it worked! Nor did you see him sand it and paint it so that our kiddos wouldn't get slivers. You didn't see my kids get their picture taken by it when my husband rode it with them to Bike-to-school-day. You didn't see the blanket in the back or the fun we had with it. You didn't see the Christmas my husband's mom gave it to his dad. You didn't see my husbands dad give it to him. Fortunately for us those memories are for keeps.
You also missed out on seeing the fear in my kiddos eyes when we said it had been stolen at night while we were sleeping. You didn't get to hear the millions of questions they asked all coming back to "why would someone do that?" You didn't hear the panic in their voices as they asked if you were coming back for their bikes. You didn't stick around to see my husband striding down the street looking for you. You didn't see the frustration in his eyes as he's hard a hard couple of days & this didn't help. Nor did you see me snicker as I realized it had gotten a flat the other day & given how heavy that trike was I am glad it wasn't an easy getaway for you.
What you may not know is that I'm rooting for you. I am hoping you'll have a change of heart. That you'll know you don't have anything to prove & that you won't be one of the 85% of bike thieves in our county that strips bikes down for parts or tries to sell them elsewhere. I am hoping that you'll bring it back that when I glance out the window I'll see it parked happily back in it's spot. It isn't so much about the bike at all, but about how I want to my kids to know that a bad decision doesn't make a bad person. I want them to grow up knowing that poor decisions can be made right again. Maybe I'm being naive again but if hope is seen as naive then so be it. Regardless we will get over this make no mistake about that. It was after all just a bike. You on the other hand I'm not so sure. This may have been a first time for you or maybe it is a series of times that now has landed you on a path to bigger things. What I wanted you to know was that it's never too late to turn around. To trace back your steps & begin again. That's why I'm rooting for you.
The person you stole from last night.