This weekend the social media pages were awash with ‘Happy father’s day’ messages. Quite nice to see that people now appreciate the role that fathers play in the family. In particular, I quite enjoyed reading the heartwarming feature that Time magazine had of celebrity dads’ letters to their daughters.
Also hail the African dads who are famous for being disciplinarians as well as being devoid of any emotions. Speaking of emotions, I have never in all my life seen my dad cry, not even in the most difficult of circumstances. And that is the fabric with which we describe our African dads, masculine manly men who can tackle anything and everything.
My dad is of course one of these manly men. It’s hard to come to terms with the fact that I no longer live under his roof. There were times in my childhood when all I wanted to do was get out of that roof, and now that I am trying to make it on my own, I constantly wish I’d have more time to talk and to spend time with my old man. Growing up, my dad’s word was law that could not be contested; you either conformed to the rules or faced the consequences. Looking back now, I understand that in his own wisdom he was trying to teach us vital lessons about life. Every now and then something happens and I remember dad’s advice. As an adult, lessons from parents come to us ever so gently in our everyday experiences and we realize our parents knew we had it coming.
I have fond memories of my childhood with dad, him teaching me how to drive, him taking me to school and picking me up in the evenings, him teaching me to always speak up when it mattered, him buying me my favorite treat of fries and a fried egg, him taking us on long road trips, him spanking us…..
But most importantly, my dad has always been there for me, unconditionally. Quite a task, bearing in mind that we live in a world where most people love you on condition.
There are girls as well that have been in unhealthy relationships and their dads are the only men in their lives who have cherished them, and that counts for something. I also realize now that dad is the most liberal man I know. I got a tattoo a couple of years ago, and while everyone questioned the move, he gave it one look and decided it was no big of a deal! I also had my nose pierced around the same time and voila…same indifference on his part! Very shocking on the manly masculine African Man I know…. 🙂
He dared to try since I was born and that’s all that matters. Happy father’s day dad!