Father’s Day, Part 3: A Father’s Relationship With A Father
Celebrating Father’s Day with 3 unique stories that encapsulate the essence of a child’s relationship with him. One of the most touching relationships, it is also often blemished with complexities, miscommunication, and fumbling awkwardness, but despite all the challenges and confrontations (or lack thereof) love overcomes every obstacle.
Part 3: A Father’s Relationship With A Father
It may seem like it was centuries ago, but I was a little boy too once. I had childish dreams and immature quirks, relishing the thrill of underage activities, waiting for the day I’d take over the world. But there was always a voice in my head, nagging me, to be better, to grow out of juvenile phases, and be the man I was destine to be.
Except this voice wasn’t just in my head – it was in my room, my space, everywhere I went, just one tone – you are better than this. The staunch, unwavering voice of my father. I was so unnerved by this tone that everytime I heard him talk, I tuned out the voice and focussed on anything but. The voice didn’t understand my teenage angst.
I wish it did, though, because we grow up to be what we see. I feel proud of my mediocre achievements, boast to my sham friends, but none of it matters when I come home, to a full house that suddenly disperses when I unlock the main door.
Am I the same voice?
When I tell my son not to do things, does he tune me out too? When I ask my daughter to get home before it’s dark outside, does she curse me behind my back? I hope it’s not too late to fix things, not for my sake, but my children’s. For I know, I know the regret that takes over once a father is gone; the guilt that seeps in, knowing you couldn’t make him proud; the feeling of sorrow, not talking to him when you had the chance to. Even though it’s difficult to accept, keeping in mind the tone and the nagging and the fights, my father was always right.
Such are relationships – muddled with mistakes and overcome with problems; but aren’t they always fuelled by love? Maybe that’s what being the bigger person means – realizing that you’re not losing any battles, rather winning love, respect, and memories.
Perhaps my father would be disappointed in me too if he saw me today, relaxing on a poolside sunbed, somewhere in a tropical city, far away from work and money. He would never understand how I can lay smiling next to my kids as I watch over proudly, clinking glasses to a better future, feigning nostalgia, you grew up too fast, and ‘I’m so happy you’re having your first drink with me’. Because we all know the truth – their childhood was anything but quick and easy, and this is definitely not their first drink.
But, I think I’m learning how to be the bigger person.
(Picture credits: Canva)