As a little girl growing up, I never imagined my dad as Superman or Spiderman, or any other superhero for that fact. It just never occurred to me that he might be a superhero as how we are generally told in countless shows and articles. He was just this average, frail looking, working class man who manages from day to day, month to month in feeding and tending us.
He wasn’t always working and running off for some meetings or another, and we get to see him pretty much the same time on daily basis: before 7.30am and after 5.10 pm. Yes, he was all ours.
Hence, we were not rich. Money was always tight; and trips during school holidays are rare, very rare luxury. Oh, school breaks were either spent in front of the TV at the comfort of our double –storey, rented house, or it was off to the 2-room apartment my grandparents owned, and lived.
The definition of holidays has certainly changed over the years.
There was one time, he wanted us, the kids to stay home the entire month of school break, or else he would be bored to death. We gave him the ultimatum: it’s either we stay and he brings us to the newly built water park in our city; or off we go to our aunt’s place in another state, 2 hours’ drive away. He, naturally, sent us away.
That pretty much sums up most of my school breaks, and the phrase “money is tight”.
That being said, there were also perks of having the dad around all the time.
We were best buddies.OK, almost,best buddies. We have tea together on daily basis. We watched countless soap operas and legendary serials and cartoons together. We update each other on friends (despite the age gap) and he talks endlessly on the nature of his job, chemicals and what they mean.
I, on the other hand can just tell him which friend is dating whom (of course,I don’t date anyone), which friend has a dysfunctional family and who is my latest crush in the Latin soap opera.
He never missed one single report card day through my entire schooling life. And it was always him, not my mother.
A teacher once caused the fire extinguisher to explode, accidentally. No harm done to any of the students around but as a precaution, all the students were given medical attention. My father ended up fighting with this teacher for testing the fire extinguisher at the first place. It all sounds very dumb now, even crazy, but thank goodness, the teacher was a very gentle being, he actually apologized, and took responsibility for the incident. No other parent approached the teacher on that day, and I was so, very embarrassed of drawing so much attention for such a petty incident. But as fate would have it, they became very good friends afterward. And I was remembered for the entire 6 years of my primary school.
This is what not-so-busy fathers are capable of.
I could always count on him to help me with the homework (except for anything art related), and thanks to him, I’m an avid reader. He reads everything, including dictionaries. He was (and still is) my walking encyclopedia and thesaurus.
We love the same comedians, hence we laugh at the same joke.
I could connect with him almost telepathically by one look.
He completes my random thoughts, and I know the one and only salad dressing he could stomach is plain yogurt.
When everyone is being such a pain in the-you-know-where, he would call up and say something calm.
He never had money, but plenty of time he spent for us.
He never missed any of our birthdays, prize giving day, talent shows and sports day in the name of work. Again, not much gifts or presents came from him, but we learned the meaning of quality time, first hand.
We are not kids anymore, but he still stubbornly looks after us in every way possible.
Happy Fathers’Day, and more.