The Wind Beneath My Wings This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Daddy is holding onto the edge of my bike. That little blue and white bike with clouds on the seat was the pride and joy of my life. I still can hear the rattling of the training wheels as they bounced over pebbles and cracks in the pavement.

"You can do it. You can do it, just steady yourself!" you bellowed in my ear.

"I've got you. You won't fall. Don't worry."

And then the release of your hands from my bike so freedom surrounded me in every direction. I was soaring like a dove taking flight, the wind roaring in my ears, my hair blowing. My heart was thumping and I was filled with pride until I realized that I couldn't stop. Suddenly, the bike wheels were rolling over the curb. I was tumbling forward onto someone's lawn - bike and all. But there you were picking me up, wiping my tears away, and putting a Band-Aid on my knee so I could try again.

"Don't go past the street signs," you warned when I could ride on my own. I see myself riding up and down the street endlessly. Waving to you each time I went past the house as you mowed the lawn. I still fell, but now I could pick myself up.

As I got older, you told me that I had to be back when the street lights came on. I recollect speeding down the hill, peddling quickly, knowing that I was late. There you were standing at the end of the driveway, your arms crossed over your chest. Then I would ring the bell on my bike basket and let out loud whoops until I skidded to a halt in front of you. You would pretend to be angry, but then a grin would spread across your face as you chased me down the driveway into our garage.

On those hot summer days, sweat trickled down my neck and disappointment formed a scowl across my face, as I rode my bike home carrying all my mud pies, unable to see even one. But when I found you in the back yard, you handed me a penny.

"What flavor is that one?" you asked pointing to my red sand pail.

I would answer, "Chocolate." You would pretend to eat it, wipe your mouth hungrily, saying it was the best you ever tasted and that those people didn't know what they were missing.

Now that I've grown up, my bike has been discarded to the dump and I don't call you "Daddy" anymore. In addition to being my mentor, hero, and parent, you are something more: my best friend. I can come crying to you when a boyfriend breaks up with me, or I just don't feel like I fit in anywhere. I know you won't get mad if I forget to save you a seat at a basketball game, or I don't call you back at the exact time that I said I would. We can sit together and have long theological discussions about absolutely nothing and laugh at Bazooka Joe comics even though they are the dumbest things we ever read. We watch Civil War documentaries on "Biography" when everyone else thinks we're crazy and make fun of people at the mall who wear their pants backwards, down to their knees.

And I always know that if I ever decided to sell some mud pies, you'd hand me a penny and say, "I'll take a chocolate one, please." c


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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