Posts Tagged ‘tricycle’

It was my favorite toy while I had it, that blue tricycle. It was a scratched-up, dented hand-me-down from my brother, but I loved it. Everyday we chased each other up and down the sidewalk in front of our house and in circles on the asphalt driveway, my brother on his brand-new red bike with training wheels and me on that blue tricycle. On that tricycle, I felt free. I felt like a big kid.

When it tipped over and spilled me onto the asphalt, its handlebar breaking cleanly off the metal body, that blue tricycle and I were still getting to know each other. We were still in euphoria.

Afterward, I went out to the garage day after day to see if it had miraculously been made whole again, but it lay there immobile, broken, finished. I was heartbroken. I was also an unusually reserved child, and somehow I got the ludicrous idea in my head that a magnificent toy like a tricycle must cost an extraordinary amount of money. Naturally, I never told my parents how much I wanted a new one.

Several Christmases and birthdays later, my mother found out. I remember the look of dismay on her face upon discovering that she had been oblivious to something I wanted so badly.

“Why didn’t you just tell me?” she cried. “I thought you didn’t care! I would have gotten you a brand-new one right away!”

I don’t know which one of us felt more regret in that moment.

Imagine the comic absurdity of it: We rush to the store that very day. We’re standing in an aisle lined with bicycles and tricycles. There are all kinds of tricycles–little red ones, a tall silver one with streamers, and even a beautiful pink one. We try out all of them, but–you guessed it–my knees knock against the handlebars, and my arms are scrunched up. I am clearly too big for a tricycle.

Life is always spinning forward; there’s no going back. That’s what I understood as my mother and I stood in that aisle lamenting that “I was already too big” for another tricycle. This painting is in recognition of the reality that sometimes we have to give voice to our wishes and dreams in order for them to come true.

See the next painting in the series.

“I was already too big” is part of a series titled “Lost Along the Way.”

4″ x 4″ acrylic and ink on canvas

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