This morning, my seventeen-year old informs me what she would like to do, or not do, on this Sunday, Father’s Day!
I turn around and tell her my plans for Father’s Day; I tell her that she is most welcome to join me – but it’s not mandatory. Needless to say, her plans and my plans don’t match.
There are times, when as a parent, you have to let your child know that you are willing to accept certain behaviors and not others; even if one loves a child, we cannot simply roll over when he/she wants or doesn’t want to do something. During teen-age years, as your child gets ready to step into adulthood – their responses and reactions can be specially erratic and irritating.
Being a Dad is tough.
You know you love your children more than anything in the world; you know you want them to know you love them and always want to be there for them. Through your actions, you demonstrate that you care for them and are willing to compromise with your own needs to provide them with what you believe is good for them.
Still, once in a while, you get hurt by their actions.
Since I lost my Dad at an early age, I didn’t get a chance to really ask him how difficult it was for him to accept that I didn’t get “Star” (Distinguished) marks in my Secondary School Exam – and barely scraped by in my High School Certificate exam. I don’t remember him getting mad at me.
One evening, upon some silly disagreement over the singular music cassette player in our home, I remember, rushing out of the house and not coming back all night – but that’s the last discord with him that I remember.
My Father was not a huggy-kissy Dad; the first time he watched me debate in a national tournament, I remember he came and shook my hand and told me he thought I did the best, even though I didn’t even get an honorable mention.
Even today, after twenty-seven years, every time I think of him, my heart is soothed by his gentle, caring smile. When I close my eyes, I can see my Dad smile.
In my imagination, he tells me that he loves his grand-daughters and he doesn’t really care what I think! I continue to argue with him, that Papa, you don’t understand, I don’t want you to spoil them!
I can just see him doting on these beautiful princesses – and completely disregarding my concerns.
However frustrating that figment of imagination is – I would give up all my worldly possessions – to experience that particular moment in real life! My Father’s Day would be so much more complete, if he was here, watching me struggling with my fatherhood angst.
Just as I get ready to go to bed tonight, I get a text from Daiyaan: “Dad, I am sorry I was being rude and selfish earlier; I will do whatever you do, or want to do, on Father’s Day. I just want to spend the day with you”. As I read the text over and over, a tear swells up in my eye and a smile covers my heart.
I close my eyes and visualize my Dad again. As if, I can see him laughing this time, telling me, “See, you have nothing to worry about!”
Thanks, Pops, for being with me. I want you here, on all my Father’s Days.