As the hours ticked on, we both became a little antsy waiting for the late-night pending transaction about to occur.  My son was selling his beloved 4-wheeler ATV.  Jeff has always pampered this vehicle like a baby.  He kept it in the garage, washed, waxed and maintained it regularly.  Riding it was so much fun, but since none of his friends had one, riding was also a bit lonely.

Jeff has been riding ATV’s since he was about 4 years old.  Some friends of mine had borrowed a child’s Suzuki 4-wheeler from a friend of theirs for Jeff to ride while we all went riding in the woods.  He’s been hooked ever since.  When he turned 7 I surprised him with a brand new Suzuki by stashing it in the shed and asking him to get me a rake from the shed.  He came running into the house, gasping for breath out of excitement and disbelief, asking me if I knew there was a 4-wheeler in the shed.  There is?  Mom, mom, mom, come see, quick!  That day he rode around the field for hours and hours, a big grin plastered on his mud covered face where the helmet didn’t cover.  He made jumps out of wood and dirt, and mud puddles to blast through as fast as he could.  He rode that thing until his body literally grew so tall he couldn’t ride it any longer.  When Jeff’s dad and I divorced, his dad had grave concerns about Jeff riding a 4-wheeler at such a young age.  Relax, Jeff has a great instructor, I told him.  Of course he had concerns about the instructor as well.  It’s hard to believe we didn’t stay married…  By this time, Jeff was a 4-wheeler expert and the machines kept getting bigger and bigger to fit his never-ending growth pattern.  He upgraded to Honda’s, which of course are the best (in our opinion).  He saved his hard-earned money and bought a Honda Foreman.  He loved it but it wasn’t the top of the line and he had big dreams of the MacDaddy ATV – Honda RinconHe put his mind to saving for it and when the time came, he sold the Foreman and bought the Rincon and all the accessories like a plow, winch, big badass tires, chains, and all kinds of other things for your riding pleasure.  He made that thing come alive when he rode it, and it returned the favor.  He was a sight to see.  No matter what the weather, he was out there, King of the trails, ripping it up.  There are clubs and groups but you’d have to transport so far that it was hardly worth it.  There was the lake house, which was fun, but again he was getting older and his needs were changing.  I had a blast with it at the lake and was sad to see it go.  I might have to get another one for the lake.

It didn’t take him long to sell it.  In fact, in less than a day he had a call.  The guy came over and fell in love with it.  He put a deposit on it and took pictures like a father takes pictures of a newborn baby.  The banks were closed on Monday for President’s Day and the guy works second shift.  We all agreed to meet up at 11:30 pm last night to make the deal happen.  My son went into the garage early to get everything ready.  I left him alone with the machine as I knew he needed closure to say goodbye.  I watched out the window as he took his last couple of victory laps around the property and prayed the neighbors wouldn’t complain with the late night noise.  I knew it was hard for him to sell it.  I knew it was a major milestone from boy to man.  A part of him was going with the 4-wheeler, a part he’ll never forget.  I finally went out to the garage with the dog to see how he was doing.  He was totally engrossed in getting prepared with paperwork and equipment.  He was a little anxious and we talked about future 4-wheelers.  I was so touched when he said he thought he might wait to get another one when he has kids.  He said he thought it would be a good “father/son” thing to do.  I don’t know if he realized the huge compliment he paid me by saying that.  It validated all the worries I’d had as a mother introducing her son to motorized vehicles.  I knew it was a blast, but of course I also knew there was danger.  I was certain proper training would minimize the risk.  I was right, other than a few learning curve cuts and scrapes, he never got seriously hurt.  It was at that moment I knew he held the memories near and dear to his heart and he wanted to pass down the same memories to his kids.  How great is that?  Maybe by then, I’ll have one of my own and we can all go tearing it up together!

The buyer shows up right on time like a kid at Christmas.  My son wanted me to sign the agreement as a witness so I hung outside with them for a while.  After Jeff went over all the most important details, we moved on to the exchange of money.  It was a ‘cash only’ deal and there was cash everywhere.  We all counted the money, signed the papers and then proceeded to transfer the ATV to the back of the guy’s truck.  With borrowed ramps he had no trouble driving it right up into the truck bed.  That was my cue to quietly, without saying a word, go back in the house and leave them alone.  It was after midnight and I was tired.  I got ready for bed and heard Jeff come in shortly after.  He came in my room and said it was a little sad to see it go.  I told him it was just a motor with metal around it and by the time he’s ready to buy another one, it’ll leave that one in the dust.  He chuckled, and went to bed lost in his thoughts, clutching his cash.

You can take the boy out of the 4-wheeler, but you can’t take the 4-wheeler out of the boy. There is no doubt in my mind, my son will have another 4-wheeler and even another one after that.