Saturday, June 18, 2016

Happy Father's Day

If you are in anyway exposed to advertisements, you've already been told about father's day and you've already been told what you should get for your father. Father's day, I feel, isn't as big as mother's day but it is getting there. Anyway, reminded by companies and whatnot about this incredibly important day, people suddenly feel the need to speak about the love they have for their fathers. But not really to their father. Sometimes the father is tagged in the post on social media but usually he isn't because most people prefer to pretend they don't know what Facebook is rather than add a parent on social media.

But why be negative? Father's day is a great reminder that fathers are important. And I'm not going to say that father's day is every single day because honestly, I don't even talk to my father everyday. And that's not a bad thing. When I was younger, I thought that a father must talk to their kids everyday and that if he didn't, it meant he didn't love them. I thought that a father, if forced to choose, must always choose the option his kids come with. I thought that fathers must spoil their kids and that if they don't get what their kids want, it just meant he didn't love them. I thought fathers must be present at birthdays, celebrations and other important days.

But now I know that none of that makes a father someone worthy of being called a father. It doesn't even necessarily make one a good father. And we love pairing those words together. But who is a good father? Is a good father the one who gets their kid every thing they ask or demand for or is the good father the one who teaches his kids that money doesn't grow on trees and that you can't have everything you want? Is the good father the one who spends all his free time at home but never listens to his kids or the father who doesn't spend as much time with his kids but when he does makes sure he spends quality time with them?

And why does this even matter? Why are we always comparing and wanting to not only be the best but also have the best? Whenever I see 'I have the best father in the world' or 'you are the best father' posts, I think, 'no. There is no best father in the world.' I'm sure I've called my father the best but since then I've realized that I can't compare him to anyone. I can't pick him out of a pool of fathers because no matter what other people say about their fathers, for me, my father is the best. And he can have his faults and maybe we don't spend enough time together, but he's all I know as a father and I think the only other time I will compare him to another is when and if I ever have kids. Because no matter what my father has done or hasn't done, if the father of my kids doesn't match up to his standards, I will make that comparison.

And if anyone tells me that my father doesn't have a strong case going on for him, I will not be happy. Because I may have issues with forgiving and forgetting but my father is still mine. He has, in his own way, shown me how the world works. He has exposed me to the bitter truths about life but he has also made sure I was safe. He has encouraged me to do what I love and has guided me.

So then... what did I get him for father's day? Nothing. I have no status update or card for him. And it's not because I don't love him and appreciate every little thing he has done for me. Because I do. But I also don't think a few words just to make him happy on father's day is the right way to thank him. And I don't think I want to do something on a particular day just because someone somewhere decided that we needed a single day a year to thank our fathers.

I don't want it to be a once a year thing where I feel obliged to be a good daughter. I want it to be much more than that. And as lame and unoriginal as this sounds, I really do think the biggest gift we can give our parents is to be good people.

I will make my mistakes. I will do things they won't agree with. I will take a wrong turn every now and then in the path I walk on. But I will do my very best to be the person they want me to be. Not by making their dreams my own. Not by following each and every rule they put down even if I don't agree with it. But by being honest and by not lying to them. By doing the right thing and not harming or hurting anyone. By being the kind of person who mayn't live in the biggest house or have the best job, but will always do their best to be a good human being.

And I feel that this is so important. Because here's the thing. My grandmother passed away in a house full of everything she ever needed. We got her everything she liked. Sweets, chocolate, clothes, wool, food. Whatever she wanted, we made sure she had it. And we got her things she never asked for. Sewing machines, books and so many other gifts. She would scold us for spending money on her but we all knew that, even though she didn't even celebrate Christmas, she would still know deep down that Santa left a gift for her under the tree. And for her birthday, she would get a nice cake with candles that she said was 'too much' but also made her so happy.

But I know that when she was dying, it wasn't any of this that made her know how good a mother she was. It was the way her children took care of her. It was the way her children took care of their children. And as morbid as this sounds, someday when my parents do get a visit from Death, I don't want them to be surrounded by all these father's/mother's day gifts. I don't want them to look at gifts given with love and think, 'oh well, I may have done something right'. I want them to look at my brother and I and know that they did a good job with us. And being able to give them reasons to think this way... I think that's the best gift I can give them.

So Thathee... if you are reading this, happy father's day. You won't get your gift just yet, because I am young and I want to make my share of mistakes. But someday, I hope you can look at me and know that I am who I am because of you. And that I make you proud.