Parenting Dad…Happy Father’s Day to Us!

I didn’t realize yesterday was Father’s Day until Facebook let me know! Honestly, what did we do before Facebook? 😛 Not that it made much of a difference once I did know. Have never been one for celebrating ‘Days’. For one it can get expensive 😛 Before you label me an ingrate however, let me assure you that I love my Dad dearly, probably more so now than ever, as the time we have together becomes more finite.

I’ve always been Daddy’s girl 🙂 Mom tells stories of how he doted on me as a child, doing everything he could, even carrying me long distances even when I was 5!! That fact assumes true significance when you know that I was always a ‘healthy’ child 😉 My favorite story is the one in which I’m hurt by broken milk bottles and Dad is telling everyone off 😉 Hearing Mom & Grandma describe it, I imagine the blood gushing from my hands (although the exact details are hazy!), and a river of red all over the kitchen floor where it happened; Mom & Gran having hysterics; and Dad gathering me up in his arms, yelling at them while trying to comfort me and run downstairs to the doctor all at the same time. I like to imagine myself as cool as a cucumber amidst all this chaos! Yeah, yeah…I like to feel important now and again folks, even if it was more than…well, however many decades ago 😉

But I have memories of my own too 🙂 I remember very clearly running up the stairs just after I had got my 10th Grade results. Here in India, 10th Grade is a big deal. It’s the last year of school, after which there’s a public examination (in every State), and one enters college. I had done really well and was among the top 50 students in Goa! I remember feeling nervously proud running up those stairs…wanting desperately to make Dad proud and afraid that I might have still managed to fail him somehow. You know the feeling! I needn’t have worried, as I flung open the terrace door and blurted out my news, the look on his face was everything I’d dreamt of and more 🙂 I remember him hugging me (probably coz we’re not at all a touchy, feely family!) and saying “Well Done!” or ‘Congratulations” or some such. It’s not important what he said. Sometimes I think it’s not even important how he felt. I think the most important feeling that day was how making him proud made me feel! Validated, worthy, proud and loved 🙂 It’s a feeling I’ll cherish forever, one that warms my heart to this day 🙂

Needless to say, I don’t remember Dad ever ticking me off or denying me anything I wanted throughout my childhood within reason. It’s a wonder I didn’t grow up thinking I was the center of the universe coz I certainly was the center of his! Or did I 😉 You guys can be the judges of that! There was one occasion though that I remember as clearly as if it were yesterday, when I threw a tantrum (I was very big on tantrums! They may be best described as flamboyant if you get my meaning! Much to my Mom’s satisfaction, Ishaan is now paying me back with my own coin so to speak :P), and stamped on his newly polished leather shoes! I got a well-deserved whack for my troubles! Dad was very particular about his appearance. He had a large wardrobe of suits and was always spiffily attired! Debonair is the word that comes to mind 🙂

Dad & I...I was 6.

Over the years I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that no matter what I grew up thinking, my Dad is not God. He has his faults and like in all of us, age does nothing to temper them. I’ve also had to come to terms with how much I am like him! It makes me at once very proud and very scared. I’ve inherited his looks, his love for beautiful things; his interest in photography; his generous spirit of giving; his keen intellect and curious nature; his laughter and love of a good joke; his stubbornness; his ego; his love for debate; his mercurial temper and his love for a good drink and junk food 🙂 He’s given me all this and so much more, it’s hard to know where he ends and I begin. And now, when he’s old and tired and spent, I find the roles reversed. I find myself parenting the man who taught me everything I know. I lend him my hands and shoulders for support. I help him find words, find meaning and often himself. I watched like an anxious parent when he took his first unaided steps after the surgery and I still watch him to this day, ready to catch him if he should fall. I buy him the junk food that he once bought me 🙂 and smooth his brow when he’s worried and confused, willing away his troubles, wanting to bear his burdens as he once bore mine. How did it come to this? Perhaps this is the circle of Life…parents’ father children and eventually children father parents.

So on this Father’s Day, I want to say THANK YOU & I LOVE YOU to the BEST Dad I could have had 🙂 and I know that if I can be even a fraction of what he’s been and continues to be to me, we’re going to be Ok.

Love you Daddy! Always will 🙂

14 thoughts on “Parenting Dad…Happy Father’s Day to Us!

  1. So touchy and so well put into words….such feelings are soooo hard to pen down and I must say, you have done quite a descent job….what can I say abt the reversed roles? But I guess, life is all abt that…’Role Reversal’ is just a part of it….

  2. What a sweet ode to a father (:
    Honestly I don’t keep track of the days if not for the hoop la around it. Also, I think my parents have come to Expect at least a wish (well for mom it’s more than that).
    How true it is, the role reversal. Thus is the circle of life!
    That picture is adorable H, he looks suave and you look like a little papa’s girl. And oh can I imagine you throwing tantrums haha!

    Sending plenty of love your way and hoping there are more good days than bad for Uncle. Hugs!

  3. Thanks Aarti 🙂 Really? My parents have no clue about ‘Special Days’, indeed with Dad, he has a tough time keeping up with days of the week. But I enjoyed writing this one…reliving the happy times is fabulous therapy 🙂 He does suave na? He was always the life of the party!

  4. Heehee @’healthy child’ ! Poor Dad! 😉 That’s a cool pic of the two of you, and indeed, he is a smartly dressed man. Look at those razor-sharp creases on his pants!
    I loved reading this post, because it helped me to think about my own relationship with my father. Apart from the larger picture, it’s the little things that add so much colour to our memories, haina?
    I’m amazed and a bit jealous that it was so easy for you to write this. When I start ‘thinking’ about a Father’s Day post, I don’t even know where to begin! There’s just too much. But I enjoyed sitting back after reading yours and Aarti’s posts, and letting the snippets of memories flood in. Who knows? I might come up with a ‘Father’s Day, in retrospect’!

    1. Sorry for the long delayed reply. Life keeps getting in the way! All in good time M 🙂 I’m glad our posts got your memories going…it’s a beginning 🙂 I so agree with you…it’s always the little things that stick in the memory…I just wish I had a better memory so I could remember them all 😛

  5. What a lovely tribute to your father! These are cherished and warm memories you will have forever and pass down to your son.
    It is very much an adjustment for both parent and child when the roles become reversed – difficult on both sides, I think.
    That photo is charming! He does look very suave, like Aarti says.

    1. Thank you so much Jackie. I truly appreciate it 🙂 It is difficult when the roles are reversed…the amounts of patience and compromise required seem endless and it can often seem you have nothing to show for all the effort. I have a new respect for people who spend their time caring for the old.

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