Because it’s been a while since I posted, have a double shot.
When I’m getting to know someone new, someone I really want to get to know better, to know inside and out, I often ask what is their favourite memory.
Well, I’ll share mine. Or, at least, one of mine.
I’m about 7. Maybe 6, but not yet 8. So more than likely 7, as that’s when I remember learning to ride a bike.
I grew up a younger sibling in a house with a big yard. It takes almost an hour to mow, it’s big. My bike was my brother’s old bike. And I don’t think it was new for him. Perhaps new to him, passed down from an older cousin, maybe. It was green, that sparkly paint bikes have. It had a big white seat with one of those upside-down U-shaped bars on the back (Were those meant to be backrests or something?).
I don’t think it had any gears.
Anyway. I’m about 7. It might be late spring, might be summer, the exact details are a little hazy. It’s sunny, I remember that. My hair was long and in a braid. I didn’t have to wear a helmet. Dad was teaching me to ride a two-wheeled bike without training wheels.
We had been trying for a few times, on the grass (the gravel driveway was deemed unsafe for my knees and hands, apparently). We’re over by the woodshed, Dad’s giving me a running start. He let go just past the shed, right near where the ground starts to slope downwards towards the barn. I’m peddling, and notice Dad’s feet aren’t beside me anymore. But I’m riding my bike, all by myself. It’s the best feeling in the world.
And then I turn my head, my arms follow, moving the front tire to nearly sideways and over I go. But I learned to ride a bike that day.
My Daddy is my hero. There really isn’t anything he doesn’t know about life. He can figure out my taxes, but we both can’t stand math. He’s honest, hard-working, loyal, practical, and really very wonderful. Not the most talkative, not very elegant (not clumsy, but the man’s been a logger since the late-70s.), and can be crass at times. But he’s my Dad. And there really isn’t anything I would not do for the man. I would give him both of my kidneys. Or my heart. If he needed it.
I’m such a Daddy’s girl. It’s not even funny.
Which is the cause, in a slight ripple effect, of my worst memories. But we won’t go there, we’ve got a lovely image of a young girl learning to ride a bike in our heads.
My family isn’t very close. Even my nuclear family isn’t close. I talk to my brother maybe once every couple of months. I do call home more often, mostly because I know Papa likes me to check in and let him know I’m okay.
I don’t even know if he understands what I’m taking in school, but I tell him anyway (He dropped out of high school to work) when he asks. I like to think he’s proud to have a daughter in university.
And with that, I am away to read a little, listen to the rain and then go to bed. Sweet dreams!