Yesterday was Father’s Day. If I had decided to stay offline throughout, I wouldn’t have known. I see Father’s day as a sort of tokenism to compensate all hardworking men for the so many Mother’s Day celebrations we have. It got me thinking about how father’s feel when they see grown-up kids doting on their mum as if she were a baby. Children hardly extend that gesture to fathers. I am guilty of that too.
In my head, I saw a father somewhere, penning an angry mail to his children. He was just fed up with being neglected.
My dear children,
I hope this letter meets you and your families well. Yesterday was Father’s Day and needless to say, I did not get any gift, phone call or even an ordinary message from any of you.
I would just get right down to it because I can see you Kiara, turning up that pert nose thinking, ‘What does this old man want now?’ By the way, I know you like imitating how your mother can turn up her nose elegantly up to show irritation, but you’ve never come close to doing it as elegantly as she does.
I don’t want you all to think I am ranting or something like that. Okay, scratch that, think what you want; I have to say my piece about how you’ve treated me since you all became adults with families. How do you think I feel when your mother constantly gets phone calls from you. That is apart from the several hours you spent on the phone with her on each Mother’s Day. The last Mother’s Day, I heard you children almost fought because one of you monopolized my wife on the phone through out the day. You children can’t wait to spend hours talking to her on the phone on Mother’s day. As if it is an open competition to show who loves her the most. But what do I get on Father’s Day? Silence. Nothing.
What have I done to deserve this treatment from you all? Who do you think broke his back to give you ungrateful kids the best education I could effort? All those holiday trips and the fun things we did on weekends together; you think came for free? Or how do you think your mum gets to be still so beautiful like the first time I saw her? It’s because I worked and provided money for spas, massages and the expensive indoor gym she uses frequently. Do you call me and thank me for doing all that to your mum and you?
OK, I have to admit that at first, I didn’t care about it. That is because in my days we never cared about things like that. And everybody got on fine. In fact, it was only that ‘Sweet Mother’ song we knew of that unnecessarily complimented women. Our life was easy then. Women did what they had to do as mothers. Men went to work to put food on the table. I did all that and more. Or are you saying what I did wasn’t important?
I am sure it was very important that is why you modern girls are now taking up jobs to supplement the family income. Leaving the care of the children to maids and house girls. How would you feel if your kids started celebrating ‘House Girl’s Day’ more than Mother’s Day. I won’t be surprised if that happens in the future. After all, you children celebrate everything these days. You have bridal showers. Baby showers (In my time, shower meant only one thing: taking a bath). All these at the expense of some poor, hardworking father’s wallet. You just need an excuse to get together and party. I wonder why you girls haven’t come up with a shower to celebrate when one of your friends is about to pop her cherry. Maybe ‘Virginity shower’ or ‘About-to-be-a-woman shower’. That won’t be strange. After all, the Reed Dance of Swaziland is all about that. I can see some of you blushing.
Look, all I am saying is that you should extend that bit of love to me as well. Not necessarily on Father’s Day, but often. Regularly. Just like you do with my wife. Tega, as the eldest child and first son to boot, the onions is on you to call your siblings to order. Get them together (if you have to drag Simi by her hair screaming and shouting to the meet, do it) and discuss how not to continue this lamentable and despicable behavior.
Seriously, I feel humiliated having to beg my kids for affection.
PS: I hope it won’t be asking for too much if I request you don’t show your mum this letter. After forty years of marriage, I won’t be accused of envy now.