Pure Happiness

Just when I thought my experience from last year taking my daughter out mountain biking for the first time couldn't be topped....

Last Wednesday was Marissa's 7th birthday. Hard to believe time has gone by so fast. This was the year she would get upgraded to 20" wheels and as luck would have it Cannondale (I'm a fan) would sell kids bikes for the first time ever. She had always had good name-brand bikes, but they were gently used bikes from Craigslist. Our first official "brand new bike store purchase" needed to be a special one.

I took half the day off for this occasion. My wife and I had first surprised her at school with a pizza party at lunch. She had no idea it was happening. Then after school we picked her up and whisked her away to a "secret location". As we pulled into the parking lot of Ada Bike Shop, she still didn't have a clue what was going on. (I'm not sure she has ever been there, so she didn't recognize the location.)  We walked in, she was holding excitement in, as she was grinning with her lips closed and being shy at the same time. I walked up to the desk and said to Jill, "this little girl has a birthday today and she has no idea what she is getting." Jill says, "Hmmm, maybe she should take a look around?"

I had a month earlier put money down on this bike I loved it so much. As it was recently paid for in full, I brought in a bow to be installed on the handlebars the day before and the shop was kind enough to oblige and also throw in a "Happy Birthday" note.

We casually cruised the shop looking for "something". Nearing the back of the shop, we rounded the corner, she saw the bike and casually walked up to it. Happy Birthday! The first words out of her mouth were, "Daddy, do the pedals go backward?" You bet. "Oh and it has brake thingys up here." Yes it does honey. It's a big girls bike. I'm surprised she could talk that much as she was smiling ear to ear. At this point, I'm not sure who was smiling more. Daddy, mommy or Marissa.

After practicing riding in the parking lot and panicking about the brakes a little, we took the bike home and she rode it through the neighborhood for no less than 20 minutes straight in the 30 degree (and windy) temps. We even took our first ride together and I taught her how, when and why to shift gears.

Man. What a day! I hope she remembers this day for the rest of her life. I know I will.

The smiles below speak for themselves. I wish I could do this every day.

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