Father’s Day is just round the corner and I was about to ask my dad what cuisine he would like for the father’s day dinner when I saw him frowning at his phone. I asked “Dad, you alright?” and guess what reply I got?
“Nah, I’m half left.”
Dads jokes aside, being brought up in a traditional Asian household, my dad had never explicitly expressed his love for me. I might be stereotyping here, but in an archetypal Asian family, the father is often the breadwinner of the house as well as the disciplinarian. The role that provides the ‘tender-loving-care’ is still the mom.
But as children, we can still feel the unconditional love from him in the little things he does for us. Here are a few examples:
Every time he sees you, he asks if you have eaten
That’s the first thing my dad asks when I’m home, or when I call. I believe it applies to the rest of you too. Our dads still treat us like an underaged child that is incapable of taking care of ourselves because, in his eyes, we are forever his kid that needs protection. When he wants to know if you have been doing okay, he’ll probably ask if you have been eating well because he might not know how else to go about it.
Your personal chauffeur
If you were one of the more lucky kids, your dad probably owned a car and drove you to and fro school or at your whim and fancy when you were a child. Sometimes, even after insisting that you are capable of getting home by yourself, he will still appear and drives you home despite it being late at night and he has to be at work the following morning.
He goes through this because he knows you are tired, and he would like you to get more rest even if it meant sacrificing his.
Gives you advice, even though you are probably just whining, complaining or sharing your day to day with him
Be it asking you to take the leap of faith and explore while you are young, or telling you it’s time to settle down and start a family (cues incessant nagging “when I was your age, I already had 2 kids”) etc.
It gets frustrating at times, especially so if you have already mapped out your plans. But understand that it is because your dad has gone through whatever that you are experiencing now and he does not want you to make the same mistakes as he did.
He simply wants what's best for you.
Tug of war at the restaurant
When you try to treat your family to a nice meal, your dad always finds all sorts of means to foot the bill before you. I am going to share some examples that my dad did when he is trying to pay the bill secretly:
1. I am going to the washroom.
2. I need a drink, who else wants one too?
3. I need to make a call
I apologised to all the waiters/waitresses that I have placed in an awkward situation during the tug of war session. You often wonder why it is so hard to treat them a meal that they jolly well deserved. But your dad is contented to spend some time with the family over dinner, and would rather you save the money for yourself. It’s the thought that counts after all.
Not all superheroes wear capes. Our dads are an example of that statement, apart from the pizza delivery man (hahaha I kid). Our dads have been with us since the very beginning, teaching us to cycle, imparting the right values and principles as well as encouraging us to push our boundaries.
Now that we have grown up, it is our turn to protect our fathers and show our love and appreciation to them. Protect his future by ensuring that he has secured a nest egg for himself and is properly insured so that he can have a comfortable retirement life, after the 2 to 3 decades of torture you have given him.
Happy Father’s Day!