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Fathers

I’ve been lucky enough to be around good fathers – those who showed me that if I had an offspring, he would be safe in his father’s arms.

When I was old enough to face the world on my own, I learned that my Dad talked about me to all who cared to chat with him. His students told me things about myself that I didn’t even remember. A friend of mine who’s a student of Dad once told me about a quarrel I had had with Dad that I completely forgot. Dad said to him, the ‘debate’ made him realize that I was an individual, that I had my right to disagree with him and make my case, and that since then he accepted the fact that I was now a grown-up. Dad never told me what he thought.

When my Brother faced the most difficult decision of his adult life, my Dad sat down and wrote a letter when all talks failed to help. It was the most tender letter I’ve read. It ended with “whatever happens, I’m always here.” The two-page letter took my Dad the whole day to write. He teaches language.

An older friend of mine sent his daughter to college in the US. He accompanied her all the way to make sure everything was fine. The last day before he left, they went for dinner. At the end, he tried to kiss her goodbye. She, not wanting to dramatize the event, backed off. He told me, all of the sudden, he felt old and useless. Still, back home half a globe away, he’s online every single minute he can just in case the young adult who’s his daughter checks in. Another older friend of mine waited ten years for his kids to grow up before filing for a divorce. A few others are stuck in failed marriages believing it is for the sake of the kids.

The day our daughter arrived, my hubby asked in awe, “hey, why do we love her right the moment we see her?” He drove us home from the hospital on a sunny day, hands steady on the wheel, eyes fixed, moving at a speed of a walker. He spent a month teaching our baby how to use the bottle when we had to wean her. He spent all weekends keeping up to her energy. For nearly three years now, he no longer afforded a ten or twelve hours straight of work. And just now, when we came home from lunch, he saw her sneakers at the door and said, “I miss her.” She’s gone to day care at 9am, and will be home by 5pm.

Sometimes it seems a man’s love for his offspring is not as clearly articulated as a woman’s. Moms stay up all night. Dads sleep like a log. Moms give up career. Dad get promoted. Moms ignore romance. Dads embrace it (and for the most part struggle to keep it a private matter). Moms iron clothes everyday. Dads forget the kids’ age. But the impact of that love is no less powerful upon Dads than Moms. It brings the most impossible things out of some men.

Happy Father’s Day.

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Categories: Inner Circle
  1. Linh em
    20/06/2009 at 4:43 pm

    10/10 for such a moving entry, sis!!!

    Hey, back to normal life, it’s time for dinner, Mom!!!

    Kiss Hanphephe:) xx

  2. Anonymous
    23/06/2009 at 9:57 am

    so touching, sis!

    btw, is it shameful that I did give up my career?

  3. Anonymous
    24/06/2009 at 4:33 pm

    @ Anonymous: Depends on what you get in return.

  4. Anonymous
    25/06/2009 at 7:47 pm

    I would say ‘Nope’.

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