This morning I went back to the used bike shop Thom and I first tried. We only inherited one balance bike with the flat, and the twins have been very vocal that they each need one.
The shop owner found a bike, and as he was raising the seat, he began to tell me a story:
"Last week I had a very nice lady from New Jersey come here. She had a son with a small hand--he was born without a hand. They came for a bike for him, and then they left. My son said it was because of the money. Oh, I wish I would have known. I would have verschenken. . . i would have just given it to him."
Obviously, this was Thom and me.
I had two choices and neither seemed ideal.
I decided against revealing that I was the cashless mother of the one-handed child. Instead, I acknowledged his generous heart and paid for the balance bike--in cash, for ten euros less that what his son priced it on our last visit.
The other option would have allowed me to tell this man that Thom had indeed found a bike. I believe he would have found joy in this news. Perhaps we shall write him a letter.