Happy Father’s Day
To all the fathers out there currently celebrating Father’s day, congratulations and above all, thank you!
This doesn’t apply to everyone but we seem to give more love to our mothers than we do our fathers, we seem to celebrate them more, and don’t get me wrong, I love my mother just as much, if not that teeny tiny bit more than I do my father, maybe because she was the one who carried me for 9 months, maybe because she was the one who went through and still goes through the discrimination, the sexism and so much more and in my opinion, women have it a lot tougher than the men, and I have so much respect for them because of my mother.
I’m not a woman, so I can never understand how hard a woman has it, but I can try just a little and imagine that they have it a lot tougher than we men do. However, that doesn’t mean we have to stomp all over the men in this world full of equality and making everything right. And today is one of those days where we get to reflect on the men and not just on any men, the best of men, the fathers. So to all those fathers out there, thank you and congratulations on your day.
As sons, and in my case as the first son, we have a very difficult relationship with our fathers. We argue, we think we know better, we learn very quickly that our society is a patriarchal one, even if we don’t even know what a patriarch actually is, but we understand the concept and we think that we can play that role, even as youngsters. So we copy our fathers, we do as he does, to us he is our hero, better than all the other dads out there because they all just seem so lame in comparison.
By the time we become teens we are really into the arguing, we hate him because he’s the one who sets the rules and we run to mother so she can comfort us when those rules didn’t work out to our favour. He’s the one who tells us we can’t go to that party, the one who says we should be back by ten o’clock or there is going to be trouble, and trouble there is when we turn up at half past eleven, just what we think is a little bit, but is most probably too drunk.
As we edge closer and closer to adulthood we start to calm down and listen a little more to our fathers, start to form a closer bond with him, start to take (some of) his advice seriously. Nevertheless, we still think we know it all, we still think we can do it all by ourselves, we still think that life is, as we say in the UK, a doddle.
Then we move out, and that’s when life hits us… hard. We struggle for a while, still thinking we know better and in the end, we do it, we come out the other end a little older but a little wiser. But it isn’t until some years later, when things are a little calmer, when we finally start reflecting on life, when we finally open our eyes just a little bit that we start to understand, he was always, has always been and will always be there. Our father.
That’s when we start to remember everything he taught us, both when he explicitly told us, and also when he led by example and we were just observing. We hadn’t realised until that moment that a lot of what we have learned is either directly or indirectly influenced by him. Don’t get me wrong, we learn a lot from our mothers too, but as a son, I know that even though we don’t know it then, everything we do is to impress him. And we take it all in, even if we act the fool and tell him we hate him, we take it all in, we listen to it all because he is the man and deep down, we want to be the man, just like him, he is our idol and has always been.
If it hadn’t been for my father, I wouldn’t know how to change a tyre. I can play football, not because he taught me, but because I wanted to impress him. I can teach, lead my students in the classroom, thanks to my father and the way he led me. I can catch my own food, fishing, rabbiting, ducking, if the apocalypse comes and zombies run amok, I know I can catch my own food and survive, thanks dad.
I look at things in a simple and not over-complicated way and people may say that I do it because I’m male, but I argue that I do it because my father did it that way and now I do it that way. I can sit there for hours in a cold and smelly garage, trying to fix something, anything, just as my father did and still does, it doesn’t matter how long it takes, I have the perseverance and the patience to finish the task, thank you.
My mother has been such a big influence on me too and there is so much I do because of her, but I am my father’s son and I will be for all the ages so this day is for you and all that you have contributed to my life and to the lives of my brothers and my sister. We love you and we always will. Thank you.