September 15, 2012: A Bike Ride

Yesterday, Xaria and I went on our first ever evening bike ride. It was a daring ride to the Wharf and back. It was chilly and dark as we returned, but we rode with our jackets on and our headlights barely beaming. We chatted throughout the three-mile ride, her training wheels skipping madly over the bumps in the road. At one point, on the path near the sand, she said, without prompting, “Daddy, I love you.” The waves in the bay were crashing beneath the moonlight. It was a perfect time. I took a hand off my bars and turned to look back at her, and I said, “I love you, too, Ba-ba.” I was caught off guard by some of the sweetest words any human has ever said to me.Then as we kept riding, she added, “You’re the best daddy in the world.” Again, I looked back. Her Disney princess helmet was slightly tilted to the side. Clumps of windswept hair were flailing behind her ears, and her eyes were watery from the wind. “Thank you, Mama. You’re the best daughter in the world,” I said proudly.  Without any hesitation, she replied, “I couldn’t have done it without you, Daddy.” I could have ridden to the moon with her right there and then. Time stopped existing. The sun was nearly gone. I looked back once more and said, “I couldn’t have done it without you, too, Boo-boo.” She stayed silent, looking keenly forward as she rode on past me. There was purpose in her eyes, as if aware of the magic and power and weight in her words. I realized then that I was simply taking the lead of a four-year-old girl on training wheels. She had just shared with me one of life’s unforgettable moments…and it didn’t cost us a thing. I love you, Xaria Marguerite Cisneros.

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