Sunday, December 23, 2012

Errata Sheet

Christmas Memories: 
Assembling a Tricycle on Christmas Eve

Scenario... I'm a divorced mom, it's Christmas Eve, my child is nearly two, it's late, I'm exhausted. All I want to do is finish assembling her giant gift, a red tricycle. My eyelids weigh a ton. My back aches. I'm bound and determined to get this thing done.

I flip the 8x11 instruction booklet (which I have folded over for convenience's sake) to Page 11. At the top of the page, it reads "ERRATA SHEET." The errata sheet was on PAGE ELEVEN. Yes. And it said NOT to insert the cotter pin lock until after inserting a shim between the wheel hub and the foot rest. 

Too little warning, too late in coming.  

Sigh. That one wheel never did roll right.

A lot of things in Life are like the tricycle assembly instruction book. Sometimes all the information you need is there, just not in the order you need to apply it effectively. Sometimes you discover it after the fact. Sometimes the box comes without any instruction book at all. Assembly required, no guidance available. 

We do the best we can with what's available. If possible, we undo the damage done. Sometimes, like with the cotter pin lock, it can't be fixed. That's when you put on a smile and make-do every time the back wheel wobbles and squeaks. Which may happen every afternoon for years. 

It isn't ideal. It doesn't roll like the other trikes, or sound smooth like the ones in the commercials. But that, too, is okay. There's always an up-side. You can hear your child coming from behind the building. If she's playing out of your eyesight, you notice immediately when the squeaking stops and you go check on her. 

Best of all, you learn the lesson printed on every instruction booklet ever written, which is: "Read all directions thoroughly before assembling."~~GH

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