Saturday, May 30, 2009

Rite of Passage

Today was one of those days that made me think about my dad. He died when I was in college so fortunately I had him during my most pivotal years. I remember wanting to seek his advice at the end of college when I didn't know who I wanted to be or where I wanted to go. He wasn't there to give me wisdom on one of life's bigger decisions.

Since then 14 years have passed and I've learned to live without him. In fact, sometimes days or weeks will pass before I think of my father. I rarely wonder anymore what he would do in a certain situation. I've learned to move on. I feel like a totally different person at age 35 than I was when he was in my life. I can't even imagine him as a father-in-law to my husband or a grandfather to my kids. I guess that's normal, I don't know. You have to learn to move on.

Today, though, I couldn't stop thinking about my dad. I was teaching my daughter to ride a bike. Thankfully she's the kind that catches on quite quickly to things so we had a lot of fun on this venture. Today was no different. She was off and running (or riding in this case) in a matter of 15-30 minutes. As I was helping her, I kept having flashbacks to my 6 year old self learning to ride on ice and in snow.

You see, I received my bike for my 6th birthday which happens to fall in the beginning of December. Why my parents thought a bike would be appropriate, I have no idea. I was determined though and thankfully, my dad didn't let me down. He took me out to the street and right then and there I learned to ride my new bike. I was shivering and slipping on ice the whole way but thanks to my dad, I learned.

As I was showing Girl Wondertwin to push off the curb with one foot while pedaling with another, I was brought back to those hours out in the street with my dad. It was as clear as yesterday to me. It made me miss him. You see, he was the "teacher" of the family. I learned everything from my dad. Walking, skipping, reading, riding bikes, driving a car...it all came from my dad.

It's funny how parenthood helps you better understand (and appreciate) your parents. It's too late for me to thank my dad for all that he has given me but everything he gave to me, I can pass on to my 3 children. My kids and I thank you, dad.

3 comments:

  1. What a beautiful tribute to him.

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  2. It's normal to move on like that. I feel the same way about my dad. He taught me to ride my bike just before he died when I was 7. I remember being there with you when your dad died. He must have been a great teacher because you are a great mom.

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  3. Your dad would be very touched by this post. :)

    Bakes

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