I use the term “dear” only because it’s a convention. I’m not feeling as though you’ve endeared yourself to me or my kin in any way, but be that as it may, the term “dear” stands.
I hope you really need that bicycle you stole today outside of the Jewish Community Center down at the end of the strip mall. I know that today is blistering hot, so I have to assume that you were out early to avoid the heat of the day. You were able to seize the opportunity to take the bike right off the bike rack between 8:00 and 10:00 am while its owner, my teenage son, was inside volunteering at the summer camp. He noticed it missing when they came outside to load up for their field trip.
It occurs to me, Bike Stealer, that maybe you’ve never been on a field trip. Maybe you’ve never been to summer camp. Maybe you’ve never, until today, even had a bike. I don’t know a thing about you, but deep in my heart I want to believe that your situation is dire. I want to believe that you are someone to whom life has dealt a crappy hand. I want to believe that you need that bike in order to get yourself to a job every day so that you can earn some money to support yourself. I want to believe that you struggled with the decision to steal it, but did so only because you felt like you were out of options.
My son has options. He can ride the small old bike that this one replaced (we planned on donating it, but just hadn’t gotten around to it yet). He can ride my bike, which fits him better than his old one. He can get a ride with me or my sweetheart. He has a plan B, a plan C, and plans D & E. Maybe you don’t.
Or maybe that’s not your story at all. Maybe you’re just someone who enjoys taking advantage of situations that present themselves. That bike rack is a little out of the way. I’m sure nobody was looking. That lock may have been easy to open. I’m sure it wasn’t the highest quality. Maybe you felt entitled. Maybe you felt that the universe was offering you a gift for being in the “right” place at the “right” time. Maybe.
Here’s the thing. You got a bike today. It’s a nice one. It was a gift from his grandparents and he had only ridden it about a half dozen times. You might as well enjoy it while you can, because if I know anything I know this: Karma is a bitch. Like I said before, Bike Stealer, I hope you need that bike, because if you truly do maybe Karma will cut you a little slack, even if you did knowingly take something that wasn’t yours. If not, though, good luck. I have a feeling you’re going to need it.
The Mom of the Kid Whose Bike You Stole
June 3, 2014 at 9:20 pm
Oh how maddening.
June 3, 2014 at 9:40 pm
That’s a nice way to put it, but yes.
June 4, 2014 at 7:15 am
There are worse feelings in the world, I am sure, but for a kid to have his bike stolen is awful. I am sure that your teenage son has at least a grasp of the way the world really works by now, but as a father of two little ones, I want them to hold on to their innocence and wonder as long as they can. There will be plenty of time for bitterness and skepticism….
June 4, 2014 at 2:46 pm
Agreed. Fortunately my son, while disappointed, isn’t angry. He just figures that the person who stole it is a pathetic loser.
June 5, 2014 at 11:19 am
Is there a chance of recovering the bike? Perhaps another mom will see a flyer or ad about the stolen bike and humiliate the boy (assuming the thief is a “he”) into returning it. Or maybe offer the old bike in exchange for the safe return of the new one? My brother’s bike was stolen from our front yard while we were at the kitchen table eating dinner one night. I think my brother was 10 and I remember how he felt. I hope whomever took it truly did need a ride and wasn’t doing it our of pettiness.
June 6, 2014 at 3:32 pm
The police officer held out little hope of the bike being recovered. I don’t think it was taken by a kid, but who knows. I’m afraid this one is probably just going into the “life experiences” bank for future reference. Thanks for reading and commenting.
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