It was Fathers’ day on Sunday and people rolled out the drums to celebrate fathers, dead or alive. Mine unfortunately is dead…but the memories linger on (sigh!)
Methinks it was also a time for sober reflection. Am I a father or a daddy? Now before I start with my definitions, let me quickly issue the disclaimer that the definitions I am about to give probably do not exist in any other dictionary available as at today or planned for the future, except ‘the Dr Ketch book of stuff and things’ (copyright reserved :D). There! That’s done. On to the business of the day!
As I was going to say, a father is…well, one who fathers a child. In other words he provides the counterpart chromosome for a baby to be made. A bit like counterpart funding for a project :D. This doesn’t require much in terms of time, emotion, focus etc. Anyone can do this. This man is not invested in any way in his children’s lives: financially, emotionally, physically, socially, mentally and the list goes on. He’s an occasional father! He probably presents the children for photo opportunities whenever he feels it looks good and can give him a leg up, if you get what I mean 😉
But then, there’s daddy! Daddy is a special being! He’s the one who saw mummy through the pregnancy and ensured she was physically and emotionally healthy by ensuring she attended ante natal classes, took her ANC drugs and reduced her work burden. Daddy, it was who stood by mummy when the labour pains came and she had to get to the hospital. Daddy it was who stood by mum when it was time to push and practically pushed with her until the precious bundle of joy was birthed. From that time, daddy played an even more active role. Changing diapers, playing and bonding with baby, attending PTA meetings, concerts and recitals even when all that was on offer was a cacophony of screeching voices (if you get what I mean :D); in fact daddy would get up and say, ‘that’s my baby over there’ with such pride that people would look and shake their heads with a mixture of pity (that he found anything sonorous about the voices he was hearing) and amusement (at his very clearly evident love!). Daddy would attend these events, re-scheduling meetings just so he could be there and openly chastise other ‘very-busy-I-am-very-important-and-don’t-have-time-for-these-events’ fathers for not doing so! Is it any wonder that the children grew up, socially, emotionally and mentally healthy knowing the exact role model they needed for life and the choices they had to make?
So where do you fall in? Daddy or father? You be the judge or perhaps, history will help you out!
Talking about history, this piece also celebrates our own fathers! Pillars, oracles and ‘citadels’ of wisdom! Just like I asked of us on Mothers’ day, are we even aware of what’s going on with dad these days? Aches? Pains? Prostate issues? Whether he still has or even takes his prescribed pills? Do we buy him alcohol for Fathers’ day? (I’ve always been curious where the custom of buying alcohol as a standard and regular gift for fathers came from! Who thought of this ridiculous idea and said,’wow! Great! Henceforth, if you want to say thank you to daddy, do it with a bottle of spirit?)’ Please don’t do that. Let’s celebrate dad and wish him many more years. This can be done by buying daddy a health plan. This ensures that his annual medicals are done, his drug refill sorted out without issues and that any unforeseen medical/health issue is dealt with immediately without waiting for you to save up money for it.
Daddy also feels happy that he is being taken care of…this does wonders for his emotional health not to talk of his physical health. Remember, you will be an aging father sometime soon (time is just racing by, isn’t it? It wasn’t like this a few years back, yeah? 😉
And perhaps, just perhaps, this might end the age-old rivalry between mamas and papas about who gets a better deal whenever events are being celebrated ‘mothers who get clothes, jewelry and trips thrown in’ Or ‘fathers who just get a bottle of gin?!!!!’ 😀
Here’s to a healthier dad and a healthier you!