Hats Off to you Great Dads;
Its often said becoming a father is easy it requires only a few biological and mechanical minutes but becoming a dad is no joke; you are expected to play multiple roles such as provider, displanarian among others.
In 2014, 22 writers all of whom are fathers put together a collection of thought provoking essays straight from the heart of modern fatherhood in a book tittled “When i first hed you: 22 critically acclaimed writers talk about triumphs, challenges and experiences of fatherhood”
“Its easier to build stronger children than to repair broken men. Men and women are different in many various ways and there are lessons and bits of wisdom that only a man can impart to a boy child”…..FREDRICK DOUGLAS: African-American social reformer, abolitionist, orater, writer and statesman ”
Boys and MEN: Fatherhood, My Father’s take…
The Flashback of my Ageing Dad battling with his in the morning hits my mind. He would leave the bathroom, towel tightly wrapped across his waist. All hairy from Chest to abdomen. In his left hand he held a glass half empty with water. He brushed his teeth so vigorously. He would then reach for a broken piece of mirror and with a razor supported in a Gillette holder, scrubbed his soap soaked chin over and over again, rattling the holder on the wall like a battle field. It appeared as if he was intent to do away with something. Something am still looking forward to keep. It gave me a strong reassurance that at least I wont go through a battle as hard as his for i had chosen keep mine big, thick, dark and unkempt when they come one day…….THIS HAIRY_TALE.
The soundtrack of my relationship with my father has always been silence. It filled every crack and cranny, sipped in and cemented our interaction like melted cheese. He was always there without being there. We saw him. Felt him. Heard him. Smelled him (his aftershave) but you still felt the silence.
He had this chair. You know most of them had their own chair. The Chair. Their own chair. It was more than a chair, it was a throne. The patriarch’s chair. And you didn’t put your ass in that chair. Not unless you were paying rent that month. Neither did you move it. My dad’s was this sofa-like chair, with a beat-down sunken cushion that perpetually retained the shape of his ass. Revered. It sat in a corner of the living room, next to his bookshelf. A teetotaller, he would spend lots of time slumped in that chair, most weekends, after-work, forehead buried in some African literature, reading about Savimbi or Samora.
If you ask me what sound reminds me most of my relationship with my old man, it isn’t the sound of him checking in in the evening, or him coughing and blowing his nose in the bathroom as he showered.
But mostly it’s the silence that bubbled up.
It wasn’t an offensive silence. It wasn’t a disinterested silence. It was just silence. Fatherhood back then wasn’t about friendship. Fathers were just Fathers not Pals! You didn’t tell your father how you felt. You didn’t sit at his feet and tell him about your pubertal girlfriend problems. You navigated your struggles alone. So we hardly conversed. We spoke, yes, but we hardly conversed. And when we conversed he was asking about school. He always asked about school. About grades. Seldom would he look at a math problem, which I sucked at, royally.
Growing up there seemed to be some sort of a protocol: most communications passed through my mom. You want new school uniform? You tell mom, mom tells him (when he is in a good mood, obviously). You hate the school you are in? Tell mom, mom tells him. The pocket money you are getting is a joke? Tell mom, mom laughs it off.
Most of our fathers raised us remotely. That was their way. The times then dictated that. I think now things are different. We need to talk to these boys. Make them our pals without them thinking they can smoke before us. They should be able to tell us what they can’t tell their mothers. They should be able to see us as allies. And as the men they want to be. Sons should be able to say, “If only I was half the man my father is…”
NOW TOP TEN ON FATHERS DAY:
What Is A Dad?
A dad is someone who
wants to catch you before you fall
but instead picks you up,
brushes you off,
and lets you try again.
A dad is someone who
wants to keep you from making mistakes
but instead lets you find your own way,
even though his heart breaks in silence
when you get hurt.
A dad is someone who
holds you when you cry,
scolds you when you break the rules,
shines with pride when you succeed,
and has faith in you even when you fail…