So today the Daily Prompt is: Sweet Sixteen
Write a post inspired by your sixteenth birthday.
Photographers, artists, poets: show us SIXTEEN.
Ah, sweet sixteen. So many years ago that was. No, I’m not telling you how many. That will be my secret for now.
I remember that year so well. There was good in it and there was bad in it.
That had been a hard year for me. My mother and I wasn’t getting along at all. Which was pretty much the norm for us, sad to say. She was a difficult woman to live with. Me, I was quiet and reserved and more often than not had my head stuck in a book.
My sixteenth year has stuck in my memory for a couple of reasons. First, I got a couple of extra special gifts. My first bike was one of them! My other siblings all had bikes, I was the only one that didn’t. For some reason my mother didn’t think I needed one. Long story there, but for now I’ll keep that part short.
My dad surprised me the Saturday of my sixteenth birthday. First, he asked me if I would go for a drive with him. I, of course said yes! Going somewhere with dad was a special treat. I had no idea where we were going as he didn’t say. After a short drive, we turned into the parking lot of a Schwinn store. Back then that was the Cadillac of bikes. I started to get excited but tried not to let it show. We walked in the store hand in hand and once inside my dad said to take a look around.
Oh, so many pretty bikes! So many different colors and styles. My dad was talking to the salesman for a few minutes and then walked over to me. I was admiring a really nice woman’s bike, a three speed. It was red and white with lots of chrome. I fell in love! My dad asked me if I liked that one and I said sure! I was still not sure if he meant to buy me one. Never knew with dad.
Dad just turned to the salesman and said we’ll take that one! I was so excited! So that day I went home with my very first bike. The other special present would come later that weekend. And this one would be the most special present I ever got.
Sunday morning my mom and dad left for somewhere and didn’t tell us kids where they were going. We were all old enough by then to take care of ourselves for a day. Late afternoon I heard them come home, not thinking much about it, I stayed in my room, reading.
I heard my mom calling my name so I went to see what she wanted. She told me, dad needed some help outside. So out I went thinking maybe to help him bring in groceries or something. Dad was standing outside in the backyard with his back to me. I went up to him and asked him what he needed. He turned around and in his arms was the smallest, cutest puppy I had ever seen!
I was well known by then of my love of animals of all kinds. Always bringing home baby squirrels, birds and other animals to nurse back to health. Dad handed me this tiny black and white puppy and it was love at first sight! This little bundle of fur wiggled in my arms and licked my face and smelled like a puppy, clean and pure. He had a flat little face and the brightest eyes. I just looked at my dad with what I’m sure was a silly smile. He said the puppy was mine, part of my sixteenth birthday present.
I put the puppy down at our feet and watched him explore his new world on little, clumsy puppy feet. My dad said he was a Shih Tzu purebred. At that time the breed was little known in the States and very expensive. He had papers and a long list of royalty relatives. I named him Chang NeTe Wong, but he was always Puppy to me. Him and I were best buds from day one. That dog was the best birthday present ever! Even better than the much dreamed about bike.
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