“I want it. I want it so bad. Please get it for me”, he pleaded, his voice bubbling with excitement.
The little boy’s father looked at the joy in his son’s eyes, and his heart melted. The boy struggled to stand still at his father’s side, his gaze darting back and forth between his father and the toy he had just fallen in love with.
The father held his son’s hand tight as they walked towards the display where the little toy bicycle was kept.
“You really want it that much?” Father asked.
The little boy nodded in glee.
“I’ll tell you what,”, he continued, “seeing you happy fills me with joy, so I’ll get this toy for you. But how would you like to get a real bicycle? One that you can sit on? One that you can learn to ride?”
The boy’s eyes widened in disbelief. “You mean I can learn to ride? An actual bicycle I can sit on?” he asked, his mouth open wide.
The father laughed at his son’s innocence. He knew so much more was in store for the little boy.
He proceeded to buy the toy. As he handed it to his son, who was now dancing with happiness, he kissed him on the forehead and said, “Here is this little toy. But I will get you a real bicycle tomorrow. And I will teach you to ride it. Does that sound good?”
The boy nodded violently, a huge grin spreading across his face.
“Then tomorrow, you shall have your bike”, Father said, “but until you have it, you must prepare for it. You must find my old helmet and training wheels at home, so you can be ready to learn tomorrow.”
“Son, where are you? What are you doing?” Father asked in a loud voice.
“I’m polishing my toy bike, Papa. I’m making it more beautiful”, the boy replied.
“Don’t forget about the helmet and the training wheels”, Father said.
The boy nodded to himself, as he continued to polish his bike. He had fallen in love with the little toy. And he knew it was better than all his other toys and it deserved the best treatment. He washed it, polished it and even built a garage for it with cardboard. He made his toy soldiers ride it one by one, while the other toys were made to stand in awe of the beauty of this new addition to their family.
He added decorations and color to it, giving it wild designs and shades, and he played with it all day and all night.
Morning came and with it, the bicycle arrived.
The father stood at the door, holding it, waiting for his son to come running with his helmet, filled with excitement to learn how to ride it.
But the little boy didn’t come towards the door. There was no excitement.
The father walked to his room, surprised to see the little one still playing with his little toy. He hadn’t searched for the helmet or the training wheels. He saw the little bike, washed, polished and painted; more beautiful than all the other toys, yet it’s beauty wasn’t close to that of the real bicycle.
The boy had forgotten all about his father’s promise. He had settled for what was less than the best.
He had given up the permanent for what was temporary.