My Father Saw Something in Me that I Didn’t, Until I Finally Did

And that has made all the difference

Merre Larkin
6 min readSep 1, 2023
Corn stalks on a clear day
Photo by henry perks on Unsplash

The summer I turned six, I got a royal blue Schwinn bicycle. I’d barely gotten the hang of riding it when my dad decided it was time for me to take my first official bike ride with him. My dad loved riding his bike. I was the oldest of three at that point, eventually the oldest of five, my mom was busy, and he wanted a buddy to ride with.

We lived in a rural town of Pennsylvania at the time. Actually, it wasn’t even a town, it was a township. We lived in a circle of two-story brick houses that all looked pretty much the same.

Those houses no longer exist. But the memories do. Especially this one.

Our house was on a road barely paved, with cinders congregating on the shoulder. My father led the way as we headed out of our circle, not to the left and down the hill where we usually went driving in the car, but to the right, also with a sloping downward hill, albeit not quite as steep and circular as the one to the left.

I was nervous and frightened before we even started, but I dutifully followed my dad as we biked down the slow and steady hill. I stayed to the right, like my dad was telling me to do, but not too far to the right because I wanted to avoid the cinders. I was…



Merre Larkin

Writer of nonfiction (memoir, essays), fiction, and poetry. Life/writing coach. Educator. Marathoner. Avid reader. Here to share, here to learn.