Letter # 12 – To the one who taught me how to ride a bike
(A letter to my dad. Naks!)
I distinctly remember the time when you told me that you were going to hold the bike from behind while I pedaled only to find that after a few meters, you’ve already let go and that caused me to panic and fall to the pavement. I also remember the time when I tried to catch your bike while in the Ateneo parking lot and my front wheel grazed your rear wheel which caused be to fly head first and two front teeth first into the asphalt. (I think I might have left a piece of my tooth in that parking lot) With each fall you were right there to pick me up or to at least watch me bring myself back up to my feet.
Why am I recalling those moments? Because it’s representative of how you raised me up – allowing me to commit my own mistakes, guiding me at the start then letting me learn things on my own but still being there when I fell. It was representative of how you were as a father – guiding from a distance, allowing me to learn the ropes (or in this case the pedals) on my own.
Because you taught me how to bike, I had a childhood. For I pity those who’ve never even had the experience of riding one and feeling the rush of the wind on their faces nor the pain of scratching your knees on the pavement when you fall.
Pa, I know we’ve had our differences in the past and that I’ve at times been disrespectful and for that I’m sorry. I’m sorry I became ashamed of you at some point in time. I’m sorry I shouted back. Oya was right, they were all right; that no matter how disappointed I was, how frustrated and hurt I felt, at the end of the day, you’re still my father and that I should give you the respect you deserve. So there, I’m sorry.
Of course this letter wouldn’t be complete without my saying thanks. Thanks for talking trash to our opponents in football even though we were still in grade 5. Hearing your voice cheer gave me the energy to play harder and play to win. That was awesome. Thanks for sticking up for me and helping me with a lot of things. We’re not as close as other father-and-son tandems but I think that what we have is good as it is. For putting up with my spoiled nature, my attitude, my mistakes, thank you!
So now that I am about to end this letter, I have one thing left to say although this is something more commonly heard being said by parents to their kids – I’m proud of you, Pa. You told me you were proud of me when I finally succeeded in riding my bike, I return the compliment by saying that I am also proud of you for overcoming everything in your life and everything that it takes to be the father of 5 children with a spoiled child like me as the eldest. :p It must’ve been tough. I can only imagine.
It has been one hell of a bike ride for us; but just like riding a bike, we just get up and ride again after each fall and tumble to the ground.
P.S. I know how much you miss your bike that was stolen. Wag ka na malungkot. Makakapag-bike ka parin ulit!
P.S.S. Turuan mo naman mga kapatid ko mag bike! hahahaha!