Two Sundays ago was Fathers’ Day and as a church tradition we give gifts to the fathers in our midst on that day. After the service one of the Sunday school children approached her mom to find out if there had been any gifts given to daddies this year. The mom told her there was a gift given to the daddies. The little girl wanted to find out if her dad had gotten one. “But honey dad was not in service today and so he did not get a gift.” Her mom told her. The little girl would have none of that. “But he is still a daddy.” She told her mom as she proceeded to the church office to get a gift for her father. I was moved by the story it reminded me of my relationship with my own father.
Since I was a little girl I have looked up to my father with rose coloured glasses. He was my hero; more so after saving me from being almost mauled by a dog, and could do no wrong. He was lean, tall, brown and handsome and loved watching wrestling and reading National Geographic and Reader’s Digest. Actually he read almost anything. I remember they were times we would find him engrossed in the Atlas looking at places or even reading the Guinness Book of World Records. I grew up among avid readers and so to be honest there was nothing strange about reading the Atlas. I did not enjoy watching wrestling or the National Geographic but to be next to dad, I would watch anything.
Then came teenage when I could not stand either of my parents; I fought with them over any and everything. Yet even with all the drama from growing girls (my sister and I are only a year and ten months apart) he still let us borrow his shirts and cut off his jeans as a fashion statement. I remember when I was in labour with my first born Tj; I kept calling for my dad. I loved my mom to bits but my dad was my hero and I wanted him close by.
A friend of mine shared with me a quote from Sigmund Freud that said something to the effect that a child’s greatest need is the protection of a father. I could not agree more. I know that I grew up to be a secure confident person because my dad made me feel strong and beautiful. I had no doubt my parents loved me, more so my dad. He told my siblings and I that he loved us often and made my sister and I feel that whoever ended up with us would be one lucky guy. He also kept abreast with our dating, sharing helpful tidbits from a guy’s point of view.
He created a dating bench outside our house where we could be ‘darted’ in the safety of right below his bedroom window. Oh and he also installed a 100 watts bulb just above the bench. I have since learned that I was among the privileged few whose dad was available and accessible. Even now though he doesn’t look as tall and lean, we are still close and I still refer to him on many issues. He may be older and frailer, but in my eyes, he is still the hero.
As I watch my husband Tony and the boys. I pray that they too will share the kind of relationship I have shared with my father. True there have been some drama, trust me those who know me can attest to the fact that in my teenage years I was given to a lot of theatrics, yet looking back I couldn’t ask for better. I don’t worry much about Tony and the boys though, watching them play rough house interspersed with cuddles and tickles, I know they are in the right path. I know that they too will have their moments (what with the teenage years on our face and the resulting hormones) but I also know they have what they need to scale those hurdles, a deep love and commitment to each other. So to my two favorite dads: ‘Happy Fathers’ day. I am honoured to have you in my life”.