With father's day around the corner, I sat here thinking I should write something for fathers, I have been around some really cool Dad's recently and it's been heart warming watching a dad with with his children.
Who is he?
What does that word mean to you?
For some he is that man that comes home late at night and just heads to bed.
For some he is that man that you hear him honk his car horn and everyone is rushing to put the house in order and get a book and seat quickly and act engrossed in the book.
Some just remember that the TV has to go off about an hour before 6pm to ensure the TV is cool to touch when he gets home (you should not be caught watching the TV or any hint that it has been watched that day)
For another set of people he is that guy that gives you money for school, allowances and sorts, the minute you start to talk to him about something he asks “how much do you need?”
I’ll tell you what that word means to me.
He is that man that we (my sisters and I) are patiently waiting for to save us from the world's troubles (My Mum’s rule). He knows we are waiting so as he gets close to the house he honks in that special way we know and so love to hear, but no Mum says we can’t go out just yet, so we wait a little longer by then he is in front of our house and then that sound comes again and MY OH MY, everyone is out of that door in a flash, and Mum too.
We run to him once the car stops, because we cannot leave the front balcony till the car comes to a complete stop(Mum's rule, such tyranny don't you think), he opens the door but does not come down just yet, we jump in and get his suit jacket depending on whose turn it is that day, and put it on all this while the car engine is still running and of course the car AC is on so we fool around a bit searching for coins in the car to go add to the big coin jar (made out of his massive wristwatch case) in the house.
Then finally the car engine is turned off and we make our way to the house, I’m either walking beside him wearing his jacket or carrying his bag or just skipping in beside him with his newspaper in hand and he is carrying my little sister especially on her jacket wearing day (now come to think of it, I think that his to save his poor jacket from being dragged all the way into the house since the jacket dwarfs us all. On days he is back really early and not too tired (not like we believed he was ever tired back then) we sometimes would just all remain in the car and go for a drive round the estate we lived.
On other days he either has some treats bought for us or gives us each a coin to go get snacks from the nearby vendor’s kiosk or Mum insists it is time for dinner so no snacks or the snacks are for the next day.
Once Dad is home, everybody knows we are going to be hanging all around him for the rest of the night, no one wants to go to bed.
When Mum isn’t around, he get’s back home and we have a dinner together in the same plate, oh what a sight we must have been all four of us eating from one plate, that way Dad ensures his 3 princesses eat that night because eating with Dad was such a treat, I wonder how much he really got to eat considering that he is always busy cutting meats in small bits and plantains and making sure there is no bone in the fish while we all ate. He claims he enjoys it even on days Mum is around and doesn’t want us disturbing her husband :)
Sometimes he would carry us piggy back or sometimes lie down on the floor and ask for a back rub/scratch, then we would ask the standard question which was "should we rub/scratch till his back gets bruised?"
Days of innocence, which reminds me of the time he and my Mum traveled and had an car accident, my baby sister was just a few months old and my immediate younger sister was about 2 and I 4 getting to the hospital to see our parents was really a scary experience, but seeing Dad’s right arm in a cast all my sister could ask was “how will you eat “amala” now?” That still cracks everyone up till date.
When I think of it really he was for me that guy that knew everything in the world and could never go wrong. He was the richest guy in the world (yes in my world) everything in the house as far as my sister and I were concerned was bought by Dad, My sister often told my Mum when she broke yet another plate while forcefully helping to clear the dishes after a meal “don’t worry Dad will buy another one”
My Dad is a great guy, I know now he is not the richest guy in the world but still he is to me, he doesn’t know everything, but he is still learning. We don’t do piggy backs anymore and I often do not agree with him. I also now know he is human so prone to mistakes as I am and not the biggest person in the world so I keep forgiving him and loving the larger than life image and the standard he created for us, nothing was and is too good for his family, nothing too much to give. He would rather spend all he has taking care of his family than buying a single thing.
These are memories from years ago but still I have them and they would not go away anytime soon. Regardless of whatever happens he will always have my love and admiration, so when I am angry with him, I hope I remember the awesome guy he is and smile remembering he is also human.
Dad, I love you to bits!
Please feel free to share memories of your Dad growing up.