I wanted to write this post yesterday coinciding with Father’s Day but as always, something came up. In hindsight, it was something that ended up giving me far more perspective on the matter.
I had an interesting call with my dad last night when I casually mentioned that it was Father’s Day on Sunday (it was Monday morning for him). He said yeah and remarked about how weird it appeared to him that people celebrated stuff like Father’s day. To him, it was a relationship that was cemented and really didnt need a day in the year to be celebrated. Of course, he holds the same opinion on anniversaries and Mother’s Day and birthdays and everything. I am sure many of my friends reading this and from Asia agree with this being the opinion of their parents. Back home, you respected your parents and to them- that was all that mattered. The call ended and that was that.
Fast forward to today morning when I was being the dad to my 3 year old toddler who has been enjoying the pampering love of his grandparents and is also going through a messy transition to a new classroom for 3 year olds. After the prolonged agony that is brushing teeth, breakfast and getting to school- all of which was accomplished smilingly at his own snail’s pace he decided that he really didnt like his school. At the door of his classroom, no less. For those who know me, I am relatively patient when it comes to my kid. But today he pushed all the wrong buttons. Suffice to say, I wasnt a happy camper at 9:30 am on a Monday morning. And all it took was a lousy tantrum from a 3-year old.
Friends and relatives who knew me as a kid swear that I was active, bouncy, hard to handle, naughty and every other polite word in the dictionary for being a real pain-in-the-ass. My mother continues to complain about my childhood adventures to this day. But surprisingly my dad reflects on my childhood as being the best time of our lives. I dont ever remember him losing it with me. Ever. And he has never raised his hand on me. And my son, while being just a 3-year old with tantrums, has already pushed me well beyond my comfort zone and so much farther more.
So on the day after Father’s Day, I’ll say this much. It is really really hard being a good dad without losing your sanity. My dad did it as well as anyone could with not just one but two of us. We might not celebrate it but I sure will know where to turn for inspiration.