That's when we discovered that his bike was stolen, if that's what you still call it when you leave the keys in your bike for the taking. (It's not hard to put two and two together with this kid.)
For some context, within just the past month, Sam has:
- left his backpack, with his camera and wallet inside, at a park in Barcelona-- where it was stolen. (Barcelona is the theft capital of Europe, and when we inquired about a Lost and Found at the Park Information Center, they almost laughed at us.)
- left his nice rain jacket at the Barcelona Airport.
- lost his bike keys at a park in Amsterdam, delaying us for an hour on a busy day, while we waited for Mark to bring the spare key.
- had to leave his bike at the train station because he couldn't find his keys, which happened to be in one of his pockets.
But that morning there was no time for lectures, as he had to hop on the back of his dad's bike and rush off to school. Later, when I picked the kids up from school, the first thing I noticed was Sam not wearing his jacket. He had left it at the playground.
After retrieving the jacket, we went to get on our bikes, and Sam said, "hey, where's my bike?"
"Um, it was stolen because you left your keys in it, remember?"
Sometimes, I find it amazing he remembers to breathe.
While he was perched on the back of my bike coming home from school, I listed all the ways he could earn money to help pay for the bike. And in the middle of my lecture, I spotted something unbelievable: Sam's bike right there on the sidewalk, just blocks from our house.
We screeched to a halt, and stood there for a few minutes, staring in disbelief.
The keys were gone, and it was locked. Oh, did the thief think that was going to stop us?
We zipped home to pick up Sam's recently-copied spare keys, and returned to steal his bike back-- if that's what you call it when you use your keys to take your own bike back.
Such sweet, sweet euphoria. So, on behalf of every victim of bike theft in Amsterdam, we offer you this: