A Lesson in Manners

One day, before the COVID-19 pandemic, before our world was turned inside out, I had a truck full of bikes to deliver to the West side of the Valley.  My last stop of the day was at an apartment complex where I was to drop off five bikes.

As I came to a stop in the complex’s parking lot, a Mother and her five children, boys and girls ages four through twelve, came out to greet me.  All of them waited patiently as I unloaded each bike and set it on the sidewalk.  A few of the children got on their bikes and started to ride away but their Mother gently instructed them to wait.  After all of her children had their bike, the Mother said to them “What have I taught you?” On that cue, each one of her children walked up to me, extended their hand, looked me in the eye, shook my hand and said “Thank you.”  Except for one, the shyest child, who had a little trouble doing what his Mother had taught him to do, in a manner that was acceptable enough to her.  So she reminded him again of what he should do and before he could say anything, the oldest brother said “Here’s what you are supposed to do” and stepped in and modeled for his younger brother what he was to do.  Having imparted the lesson to his younger brother, the older brother stepped back and the shyest child repeated the lesson, much to his Mother’s satisfaction.  The Mother, truly grateful for what Bob’s Free Bikes had given her family, gave me a quick hug.

As I was driving away, watching the children ride their bikes, I thought to myself those children will go far in life and they are very lucky to have a Mother like that to help them get there.