A few weeks ago, my husband announced that my 5.5year old son needed a new bike. But of course, simply going out to buy one would be MUCH too boring. So he decided to MAKE A BIKE instead.
It just so happened that there was a garbage verge collection in the neighbourhood that week. So my husband and son went out into the streets, scavenging old bikes, bike parts, old wheels, wonky seats, broken frames, reflectors and pedals – anything they could get their hands on.
Night after night, they would come back late in the evenings, covered in dirt, oil, grime, mud and rain, with a wheel barrow full of treasure. They were like a pair of happy burglars. And the smiles on their dirty faces were priceless.
So began the whole bike construction. Our outdoor area was littered with broken old bike frames and bike parts. It was hilarious.
The boys went crazy with BOY-NESS OVERLOAD – playing with dad’s tools, banging on the old bike frames, pretending to fix things and be “mechanics”. Oh they had such a good time.
The result was pretty cool I must say.
A part of me was afraid that my son would realise that his NEW BIKE was actually a rusted old frankenstein of a bike, which they put together from discarded junk…. then compare it with his friend’s shiny brand new SPIDERMAN or NINJA TURTLE Kmart bikes…. and that he might turn to his dad and go – Nup, it looks like crap, I don’t want it.
But he didn’t. In fact he LOVES it. He loved the process, the building, the tools, the chatting and spending time with dad, and the fact that they made it together.
They now have plans for the next stage – to take it apart, spray paint the frame, make stencils of my son’s name, add flames.
I don’t know much about the ideal boyhood, but I believe my sons are having a very good time.