Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Scooter's Tale

We tossed out my 8-year old’s scooter last Tuesday.

It was a sad but necessary event, precipitated by a dark evening, a long commute, and a Dad’s one-time failure to see what toys were laying in the driveway on said dark evening.

So how could I miss a scooter you might be asking? Well, our driveway and garage are at an acute angle and my wife’s car is already in the garage when I get home. Given that it’s a tight turn and fit, I’ve always found it easier to back in via the driveway when I get home to park quickly in my spot in the garage.

Back to the now damaged scooter.

I brought my son outside to show him what happened, then reminded him of how often I’d warned him about leaving stuff in the driveway and that I’d run over something someday. Mad as I feared the car might have been damaged, I banished him to his room after dinner was over.

I examined the car and found it to be okay. No scratches that I could see and the tire hadn’t hit anything sharp. I then turned my attention to the scooter. It really was wrecked. The scooter’s platform was now at a worse angle than our driveway and garage. As I examined the scooter further, I wondered if its destruction wasn’t punishment enough.

The scooter had lived a good life. It had belonged to my older son and then passed to my younger one when my older son outgrew it. However, over a year ago it fell apart. (Two boys back-to-back. What toy stands a chance?) After leaving the pieces in the garage for several months, I received an ultimatum from my DW. Fix it or toss it.

I chose to fix it.

And my younger son was a happy boy. He rode it to the pool all summer, to his friends houses in the neighborhood, and always took it to the park when his brother had a baseball game. He especially liked taking it up a small hill in a cul-de-sac in our neighborhood, coming down as fast as he could. And yes there were a few mishaps and scrapes along the way. Fortunately, nothing broken.

So, with those memories in mind, I considered repairing it again. My wife delivered another ultimatum. Either fix it or throw it by the next time the garbage is picked up. She didn’t want to see the pieces sitting in the garage again for several more months.

I thought about ways to repair it but eventually concluded bending metal was a bit beyond me and the tools I had. I placed it out with the garbage Monday evening to be taken away on Tuesday morning.

On Tuesday morning, I took my son to school. The scooter was gone when I returned.

I went in the house and told my wife. “The scooter’s gone.”

“Of course, the trash people picked it up.”
“No, the scooter’s gone. The trash hasn’t been picked up yet. Someone with the ability to fix that thing took it.”
“Oh. Good. I’d rather somebody use it than it get tossed into a landfill.”

I agreed.

And I smiled at the thought of another little boy getting as much joy out of that scooter as my sons had.

So has anyone reading this ever had similar incidents to the above? Have you run over a treasured toy? Has someone taken stuff from your garbage because they could use it? I’d love to hear about it.


Lydia K said...

So far, I've only run over sidewalk chalk. No terrible disasters. But way back when I was a poor grad student, my friends and I would salvage furniture left in the basement of the apartment building destined for the trash!

Walt M said...

I've run over a lot of sidewalk chalk over the years, particularly when my kids were younger. Sometimes I messed up their pictures but the pictures usually survived.