Reflections on Father’s Day
Fatherly love? You got to be kidding me.
Do you mean when children are spoilt rotten by their fathers, pampered, played with and serenaded, infolded in arms, reassured of love – the whole shebang?
That’ll be the day! Imagine me hugging and loving my Shrek like stepdad! The old mustachioed codger would scowl, open his box of Chibuku and tell me to beat it. Celebrating having a father is all very well – but what if your dad’s a throwback to the Neanderthal man?
Truth be told, the varieties of dads many of us know aren’t anything like the TV sitcom ideal.
First off there is the “Bashing Daddy” who specializes not in flying kites with his son or dangling his daughter on his knees, but in throwing his fists around. He’s most relaxed in a pub environment where he swills copious amount of beer.
Actually he never wanted kids at all. They just, well, happened somehow. It was something to do with the wife or girlfriend, or sleeping partner – nothing to do with him.
His hero is Mike Tyson, especially when he showed his bravery by biting off Evander Holyfield’s ear.
That’s the stuff! Show them who’s boss!
The “Bashing Daddy” likes to try his own fearsome left hook on his family, often after coming home from a pub-crawl. Drunk, angry and resentful, he assaults whoever’s nearest at hand. With his terrified kids screaming and trying to escape his reach, he lunges around the house, swearing and bawling.
Then there’s the “Pouting Daddy.” This species never raises his hand to his wife and kids, but continuously finds fault with them. Everything from his wife’s cooking, to his kids exam results and to the angle at which the saltcellar’s been placed on the table, is wrong. Nothing is ever good enough for him.
His spiteful carping is punctuated by long surly silences, so no one’s sure whether to smile or cry in his absence. The “Pouting Daddy” is constitutionally unable to praise anyone on their achievements. His habitual response to any good news is a sour grunt.
Next in line in the dubious dad menagerie is “The Scrooge.” This one’s forever pleading poverty and would sooner swallow razorblades than put his hand in his pocket for his family. Hell, nothing less than a court order would induce him to spend money. Asked for cash, he assumes a pained, pitiful expression and starts suggesting alternatives: “Why not borrow Lunga’s maths textbook? A new one costs a fortune!”
“Surely your mother could alter one of her old dresses for you?”
“Why do we need light bulbs in the bedroom? All we ever do is sleep there!”
Next in line of dishonour is the “Sugar Daddy,” who shags young girls shamelessly and fondles his daughter’s friends when they come over. When his middle-aged wife finds phonographic photos in his shirt pocket and smears of lipstick on his underpants, he insists he was framed. They’re not his. Someone must have set him up. Meanwhile his kids run the gauntlet at school, with their peers mocking their philandering papa.
Finally there is old “Money Bags” who’s happy to buy his kids the latest video game or fly them to any exotic holiday spot at the drop of a hat. Approach him with a bleeding nose or a broken heart, and he immediately reaches for his wallet. He doles out wads of cash and tells his wife to do whatever she likes – as long as he doesn’t have to get involved.
He’s too busy, you understand.
What’s the matter? Did you expect him to communicate with you? Phone his secretary and she’ll try to fit you into his diary for sometime next year.
But maybe these are the lucky ones. For some, this topic brings sadness, either because their fathers passed away, or because they’re estranged from them, or they fled the nest at the mention of your birth, or were never known.
There is however one father who loves and nurtures, who supports and guides, who is ever present and always willing to listen. His love is freely given, knows no bounds, and even if our biological parents did a rotten job, you can rest assured that you have one good parent –Your Heavenly Father. HAPPY FATHERS DAY!
Dedicated to my beautiful three-year-old daughter Tlotlo. May I be everything you want in a dad.
By Lucky Doctor