Saturday, April 12, 2014

Filling Holes

Foster families, residential placements, failed living situations, they all leave holes in the fabric of lives.  Friendships cut short, routines changed, belongings lost or taken.  One such casualty was Fiona's bike.  It happened when she was much younger but it was a huge emotional loss to her.  I could not do anything about it though because the next placement did not have any safe biking options and did not allow her to have one.

She asked me if I"d buy her a bike for Christmas. I told her I would do it in the spring as it is hard to ride far in New England in the winter.  Boy did I call that one right, as this was a cold and very snowy winter.  She checked in with me nearly every week since then, asking if it was time yet to get the bike.  I told her today was the day.

We went to a local big box store --.  I wish I had taken the picture above  farther away.  You sure can't see much of the bike!  On the other hand, you CAN see the glow of happiness on her face.  She wanted a cruiser style, sort of retro looking with the wider tires and handle bars. It is a brilliant sunny orange and has the most beautiful paisley design painted on it.

Fiona also handled the whole shopping excursion very maturely. The first bike she chose was too tall for her. On the 26 inch frame she felt tippy and insecure. She is barely 5 foot 1 and it just wasn't a good fit.  It was such a pretty bike though, sunshine yellow with pink flowers painted all over it.  I thought perhaps she might not be able to direct her thinking to other options, but she did.

Our efforts were further hampered by another shopper who thought she would "help" us by having Fiona try the 24 inch bike she was looking at.  It was not Fiona's style and she politely refused..The woman offered again, explaining that she should "just see" if it was the right height.  Fiona I could tell thought the bike was ugly and was not ever going to go anywhere near it. She shook her head no, but her body language looked more tense. I said that she had a particular style in mind and was a stylish young lady who wanted an equally stylish looking bike.  "Well that's just stupid" the woman responded.  At this point I wondered if Fiona was going to explode but she was silent.  I said "excuse me, but you are speaking of my daughter and that is just not polite."  To her credit the woman apologized and left the bike area!  Why anyone would think it was okay to tell someone else their idea is stupid is beyond me, but I am beyond grateful that the callous comment did not mar the day for her.

The afternoon was spent riding with KC Lissa and Rob, getting the feel of wheels underneath her again. Then we rode up to my friends house up the street where all the kids played on the trampoline there.  It was magical. I had not anticipated the new house taking the bike back when they came to pick her up, but they did. I am fine with that as I will totally hold their feet to the fire as far as taking care that nothing happens to her bike.  In this smaller setting, it should be very manageable.  And it seems to me that it is important for her to be able to see that in her new home she can and will have things that are of importance to her. In some small way, today we darned one of those holes that her past has left her with.

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