My father is an icon.
When I was growing up, I used to think that my father’s favorite TV show was Tom and Jerry. Then football.
Disney. Nickelodeon. High School Musical. Telemundo. Whatever we wanted to watch, he’d let us and watch it with us. Be interested enough to ask questions, interested enough to ask about the characters if he missed the show. It was later that I realized he genuinely did not care about Tom and Jerry or Super story or Telemundo. He just wanted to spend time with us. My dad really just wants to watch news. And Africa Magic Yoruba. And some football. Shikena. He doesn’t care about Disney or Nickelodeon or Telemundo or Super story. He just wants to spend time with us.
He’s one of those men who takes his time to look great. From his clothes to his shoes, to his car, my dad is quite fantastic in the overall effect. Nothing, as far as he’s concerned is ever enough reason for him to look less than his best. His shoes are polished till they sparkle, he brushes his teeth thoroughly, he shaves so regularly I tease him that he’s shaving a bald head.
No one cares about my comfort and safety like my father. No one. If I’m out of the house at a particular time, I can always expect him to call to find out exactly where I am. And if I’m not home on time, he and my mom will rotate calls to me until I knock on the gate.
My dad is very invested in my comfort. I cannot count the number of times he has given me rides to places that were not even on his route. Not only that, he would drop me off directly at the gate. Or if it is the court, directly at the court’s door
My dad does not beat me. I have the freedom to express shock when I hear of fathers who beat their wives or children up because I have never seen my dad hit my mom and the only time I saw my father beat Chike was when Chike beat me and the only time my dad beat me was when I beat Nonso. For nothing else. At no other time.
My dad makes his own garri. Very rarely do I make it for him. He makes breakfast about 60% of the time for the whole family, sweeps the house, cleans the dog’s cage, the fans, sweeps out cobwebs from all the rooms etc. This is a man who does not believe in telling anyone to adjust when he has to enter a bus, they do it. My dad commands respect, he does not demand it.
My dad is not afraid to cry. And I’ve never thought him any less of a man for doing so. He’s only cried twice though that I can remember, when Nebo died and when my grandmother died. I remember him being very upset when Uncle Felix (his then closest friend) died but I can’t remember him crying.
My dad taught me financial responsibility. After watching me fritter away money, a day came when he took me to a shop and asked me what I needed, why I needed it, if what I planned to buy would last me longer than a month. By the time he was done, my mindset changed and shopping was no longer a stress reliever for me, it was serious business. I expanded on it and I began to budget, track my spending, weigh the cost against the benefits.
My dad taught me to be nice and to treat people respectfully.
If I wanted to fill this story with vignettes that show how my father is a man in a billion, I would. But then again, you might fall madly in love with him and I don’t want to cause anyone the pain of unrequited love. 🙂
Happy birthday Papa!
Umu gi ahurum gi n’anya
Two amazing articles I found recently that buttress this post: