Though the boy dreamed day and night of attaining this prestigious skill, he waited unwearyingly until the sharing of the Secret of the Gears would be allowed.
It came to pass, before the lesson of the shifting of the gears became appropriate, that the young lad went away from home for the first time on a five-day class trip to a wonderful science camp. Upon the morning of departure to this far away land, his little sister refused to play or speak with him. So deep was her pain at his leaving, that she found herself unable to even bid her brother adieu.
However, shortly after his departure, the girl child was overcome with the knowledge that she had her family all to herself and, forthwith, began a campaign of demanding, and then basking in, undivided attention and adoration.
Much fun was had, and many “special” outings were undertaken as consolation. Among these, the little girl – who’d learned to ride her bicycle in a trice– was taken on a long bike ride. During this adventure, the family encountered a mighty hill, and the young lady was in need of assistance. At this time, her noble stepfather inadvertently taught the lass to shift gears.
Alas, how could this have come to pass? For the young lad would be most heartbroken should he learn that his little sister, four years younger and light years more physically adept, had been taught the Secret of the Gears before him. The unfairness of this deed would have, as the parents knew full well, filled him with devastation.
And so the parents endeavored to convince the little sister of the importance of not telling her brother that she had the Secret of the Gears without actually asking her to lie to her brother. Many twistings of the tongue and brain, such as the classic “We are not asking you to keep a secret from your brother and yet we feel that it would be best if you did not bring up this matter” were shared with the young Bike Princess by both elders.
Finally, the day of the young lad’s return was upon them. With great joy and anticipation, his Mama and sister awaited him at school pickup. They lovingly loaded his stinking, filthy trunks into the car and sped home for a feast.
Brother and sister alighted from the car and swiftly approached the house empty-handed, apparently anticipating twenty minutes’ “screen time.”
The door, however, was locked, and so they sat upon the deck and conversed, while Mama, having alone shouldered the burdensome baggage and several other items including her capacious mombag, shuffled toward them in an ungainly fashion.
Suddenly, great cries of grief and rage were heard from the land of the deck, for, during the very first moment alone she had with him, the Bike Princess had foisted her knowledge of the Secret of the Gears upon her brother.
Now, some people hear this story and laugh, some shudder or even cry. That is what Part II will be about.
Full Spectrum Mama