I stopped by at my parents’ home a few weeks ago and met my family having some chill time in the living room. Daddy was having dinner, and just because I turned up, he passed his almost finished dinner to me and said “here, I know you like this.” I thought he just left me some soup, or was indirectly giving me his plate to wash, but a closer inspection revealed he had indeed left me a big piece of meat – snail to be exact – which I happen to really like. It was a good day to visit home!
My Dad and I have a simple relationship. Nothing over the top or extra special but at the same time not completely dormant. I’m not sure he knew how to relate to me properly once I became a teenager and even in my thirties, he is yet to figure it out. But I’m ok with that. Sometimes it feels a little weird not having some really mushy story to tell about my Dad, or even some really sad story. In Nigerian terms, our relationship would be described as “just there”. While this hasn’t made me any less of a person, I do desire more than what I have for my own children. My husband didn’t really get the opportunity to know his father, and those who were father figures in his life gave him a skewed impression, which left him a little weary of the prospect of being a father himself. Its one of the things I pray for concerning his life. However, faith requires works as well.
I recall an Aunt who told me she would practically force her husband to take their teenage daughter out for a meal. Uncle was confused and initially couldn’t understand why this was needful. When I heard about this, I felt this is something I decided I would emulate. Even though our children are currently in the toddler stage of life, I encourage my husband to take part in the everyday things that concern them. Everyday (as he works away from home), I try to give him an update of their lives; new words spoken, new behavioural patterns, new independence levels etc. Thank God for Skype and WhatsApp video calls. He sometimes even gets the opportunity to participate in bedtime routines. When he comes home for the weekend, I consciously give him space and time with the children so that they know who he is and create memories as well. And already I have noticed my firstborn really knows the difference between Daddy and Mummy, as he is definitely more daring when Daddy is not home; but there are times when only Daddy will do. Yes, I feel a slight tinge of jealously when this happens but at the same time, I am excited that they have a bond as well. And I will do everything I can to keep that bond growing.
My Dad is really cool. He looks after himself really well and has an amazing eye for fashion. Not many people can boast about their parents buying them clothes that they can proudly wear. I and my siblings enjoy a quality wardrobe even in our thirties, courtesy of Daddy and his bargain hunting skills. Marrying my mother is one of the best decisions my father ever made in his life and I really want my children to be able to say that of me in the years to come. So, while this month celebrates and honours our fathers and their memories, I also want to celebrate the father of my children, who is still learning in a lot of ways (aren’t we all), but he hasn’t run away. These days I can’t wait for the weekend to come because I know hubby is coming home, meaning I’ll get some much-needed help with our firstborn and I can focus on a little ‘me time’.
I also want to bless God for the lives of spiritual fathers (not the jazz kind o!). My Pastor during my University days was amazing. I never really understood why people would call pastors ‘daddy’ and it wasn’t something I ever wanted to do – I was quite satisfied with the father God gave me! However, meeting this vessel of honour changed my perspective a lot. I started out calling him Pastor and ended up calling him ‘Dad’ like everyone else. I still chat to him every now and again even though I left Uni over seven years ago. As for my home Pastor, hmmm, what can I say? I don’t know if I have met a humbler person in my life, yet so filled with the word, and in the midst of all the many jobs he has to do, he still has time to notice when things are not as they should be. I’m in his corner!
We celebrate you Fathers across the ages, and we pray that indeed you will continue to be fathered by the Almighty Father Himself.
Happy Father’s Day Daddy. I love you loads.
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