Every holiday season I am reminded of when I got my first dirt bike. It all started when I saw pictures of my Dad when he was racing dirt and flat track. He looked so cool in some of the 10mm films I would see of him riding, getting air and making some amazing passes on the track. I remember thinking how much fun it would be to have my own bike so I could be just like my Dad and learn to ride like he did. His days of racing were in the past but he still had some bikes in the garage. He would take me to preschool on his Honda motorcycle and so many kids would be jealous. Then one day he took me to our local Honda dealer to try on gear and I was so excited. We tried on boots, helmets, goggles, matching jerseys and other protective gear. It was so much fun, I felt like I could race just like him. Dad told me to make a list of what I liked so Santa would know what to get. So we made a list of all the gear and I was ready to go ask the big white bearded fellow for what I wanted for Christmas. I remember going to the mall the next week and asking Santa for a dirt bike or three wheeler and all the gear so I could be just like my Dad. The anticipation was unbearable. I would ask my parents if Santa would think I was good enough. They would tell me that Santa knows and you would find out soon enough. I would go to the garage and pretend my Dad’s dirt bike was mine. I would sit on it and make engine noises and lean like I was racing the world. I would even put on his helmet and goggles that were way too big for me.
By Christmas eve and I could hardly contain myself. I put out milk and cookies for Santa and I somehow convinced my parents to let me sleep on the couch to wait up for him. Of course this did not go as planned. I passed out way before he came and my parents took me to my room. When I woke up Christmas morning I realized I missed seeing Santa. I got out of bed and ran down the hall to wake up my parents only to find them already up and waiting for me. Mom was making breakfast and dad was in his chair with his coffee. I looked over to the tree and I see a pile of wrapped presents under the tree next to the fireplace, but alas no dirt bike or ATV. I looked at my Dad with utter disappointment as tears started coming down my face. I thought I had not been good enough. Before I could say anything my Dad said he thinks he heard Santa in the garage last night and maybe he left something there for me.
The tearing up stopped immediately and I ran as fast as I could to the garage. I turned on the light and saw it. It was sitting there next to my Dad’s. I removed the giant bow and sat on the seat. I was the happiest I had ever been so far in my life. My tears were now tears of joy. I told my parents of course he would have put it in the garage that is where bikes live. I wanted to ride it as soon as I could. I finished opening all of my other presents. I put all my gear on and I went outside to ride. I rode it until it was out of gas twice that day. My Dad was right there with me showing me how to do everything. It is one of the greatest memories I have of spending time with my father.