Not bad for a fat girl


It Turns Out Karma Isn’t All Bad After All

You may recall the story of my son’s stolen bicycle from last week. It was a downer, but what can you do? Write an open letter, and move on, right? Right.

Well, today Ms. Karma raised her head and made something cool happen. Sometime over the weekend, one of the early childhood teachers at the community center where my son volunteers decided that she didn’t need a particular bike that was in her garage. It may have been hers. It may have been her grown son’s. It doesn’t matter. She heard that my boy’s bike was stolen right off the bike rack outside the center, and it rubbed her the wrong way, so she decided to do something about it.GOOD-KARMA-AD.-1ai

This woman has been at this center for many years. She was there when my son was small, although she never had him in her group. Her own son was his summer camp counselor for two summers, summers that influenced him to continue volunteering at the camp after he aged out of their program. She and her family have done so much for so many families, including my own.

When my son told me she gave him a bike I was overwhelmed. I never expected that outcome. It’s not that I think people are selfish, it’s just that it didn’t occur to me that someone would produce a bike ready for him to ride, but there it is. I have to shout from the rooftops… goodness is rewarded! Thank you so much to this wonderful teacher and her family, and thank you to everyone who sent good mojo our way. My boy is once again happily peddling to work, to spend his vacation days helping out for no reward other than personal satisfaction. And once again, all is right with the world.


An Open Letter to Whomever Stole My Son’s Bike

Dear Bike Stealer,images

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



Daily Passion Prompt 23: Volunteer, Reporting for Duty

Today’s Prompt:


When I was in college I volunteered as a Big Sister through my university. It wasn’t the best run program, but it was better than nothing. I didn’t my a “little sister” of my own, and as a result I didn’t really have the buy in that is usually associated with volunteer opportunities. Here’s how it worked. On Friday afternoons (Friday? Really? College students, hello… anyone ever hear of happy hour?) a group of us would pile onto a bus for the ride to the projects. We were dropped off in a gym teeming with kids. They were great, those kids. They were thrilled that we came and played with them every week. There were organized games, and disorganized games and time to visit and hang out. It was fun, but rarely would a “big” and “little” form a bond under this system. I wanted something more.

3 girls BLater, after I relocated to the southwest, I had time on my hands and needed a productive outlet. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do exactly, but I knew I wanted to work with kids in an ongoing capacity. I contacted a volunteer clearinghouse, and they had the perfect fit. I became a brownie troop leader for a group of kids living in poverty. Most of them were bilingual, and all of them were adorable. And guess when we met? Yes, after school on Fridays. Those little girls were thrilled with every activity we did, loved every song we sang, and devoured every snack we shared. They marched in a parade, sold cookies outside a bank, and dressed up for a fancy tea party. I loved those little girls with their chocolate eyes and names that became familiar to my gringa tongue.

large-09012lThose brownie days were a long time ago, but they are burned into my mind. At the time is cost $6 to join the brownies. Many of the girls didn’t have it. We had a wonderful sponsor who paid their registrations, bought them uniforms, registered them in that parade, and took them to that tea party. She bought them girl scout handbooks, and supplied snacks every week. She was a kindhearted woman who wanted to give something back to the universe. I learned from her.

The causes I give my time and talents to benefit children. Children need to be protected, cherished, and challenged. This I believe, and I put my proverbial money where my mouth is to prove it.