History speaks volumes, profoundly and prolifically, of the gentle and caring nature of mothers. Somewhere down the line, we believe that the sole aim of “the man of the house” is to earn money, and it is only the woman, who can nurture her child. Thus, I believe, throughout all history and texts, a father’s role in bringing up his children has been undermined.
While a mother may teach her daughter to be a good care taker and a good wife, it is the father who teaches her to regard herself, and what to look for in a co-partnering relationship. For most daughters, fathers are their first role model and their first love, a love nothing else in this world can replace.
As a child, I remember the times when I would cuddle up into my father’s arms; it was my protection from everything, my moms’ scolding, a bruised knee, a fight with a friend and anything else. He would hold me together, and throw me up in the air, only to hold me again tighter. I remember the way his cologne smelt, and how I felt like a princess in his arms. It was a perfect escape route from the outside world, and in some manners, it still is.
With time our relationship only grew. Today, and even as a child I remember having long arguments with him about anything under the sun. He would always listen to me calmly, and if he would not, I’d get angry and start all over again. He always taught me to stand up for myself, and to speak what I had to, with clarity and confidence. I’m sure it was a tremendously difficult task, for a person of his nature to listen so patiently. Today he tells me that there are times when even he is taken by surprise at the things I say. Thanks Pa, the credit goes to you alone. We all respect our parents, but respecting someone along with being a friend is something I’ve learnt only from him. It was an important lesson to learn back then, to understand and appreciate that even when you can be friendly with anyone in authority, you must never lose respect.
There is a lot more to be said, about negotiating, about being strong enough to face the world as it is, about changing, and growing,and I guess that’s a role most fathers play in their daughters’ lives.Being unstuck intime, however, is something that’s unique to uor relation alone.! I being 24 and my father some 58 years of age, there honestly isn’t much change in the way we communicate. We still fight, we argue and I still sit in his lap every time I go home. (Though he starts groaning under my weight now). He is responsible for inculcating in me a strong sense of right and wrong, and also for making me the honest, caring, and giving person that I am. And to do all this, without a single moral lecture, to do it all as a common way of life, is truly amazing.
I wonder how different this world would be, if everyone shared a wonderful rapport with their parents, where they could speak their minds out without hesitation, where every mistake could be forgiven and where everyday was only better than yesterday. I believe we would then be proud to have a self thinking and acting generation, with an aim of leaving the world as a better place than where they came.
THANKS PAA, for without you I wouldn’t be half the person I am. Love you.