Today is Fathers’ Day. I don’t know if it’s the Nigerian version or the Oyibo version but I shall call my dad, nevertheless. Since the year my mother called me the day after Valentine’s Day to complain about my not calling her on Val’s day, I learned that every relationship day is important and must be treated as such. I mean, Valentine’s Day is for lovers and she has a lover. She went out with her husband and had fun while I was in my house thinking about my single status and somehow I still became the bad guy for not calling her. Why is it always me?
My father is one of my most favourite people in the world. He’s an amazing parent and generally a great guy. I used to wish I could have his calm, quiet and yet commanding demeanour. Lol! I’m the radio of my family. You know those parents that appear in your school to show your class teacher hell because they flogged you? That was never my dad. In fact, if you got punished in school, just keep shut about it if you don’t want a second round of flogging. He was badass like that. I say was, because now all his muscle has melted with age. I don’t mean to digress but do you notice how your parents are much nicer to your last siblings than they were to you? It’s painful.
My father is such a self-sacrificing person. At first, I thought it was just towards his family but as I grew older, I began to see all the other ways. The way he dealt with his friends, the way he did his job. There were times he would run his school with his own money because the government wouldn’t pay imprest on time. The integrity with which he managed all the positions he occupied was glaring. If his name was put into something, he’d give his all to make sure that endeavour turned out successful.
My father never gave us relationship talks. I think it was too weird for him. My mother took it upon herself to give us all the “preg-what” stories. Those were evil days, people. After one of my mom’s lectures, you wouldn’t want to be in the same radius as the opposite sex. However there was a time my dad bought a book titled “Girls, How to Spot a Dangerous Man before Getting Involved” and left it on his study table. I kept wondering why he bought the book. It took a while for me to realise that he bought it for us but didn’t have the courage to give it to any of us. So I took the book and he never asked for it.
In this world, nobody’s father is perfect. Yours may be so below the bar, that the idea of Fathers’ Day repulses you. But a father is a father. And I believe that every father, in his own way, loves his children. So forget about how not-so-great he is and reach out to your dad today. You’ll be glad you did. Happy Fathers’ Day to all fathers out there.
Itoro (Jones’ daughter)