Friday, November 1, 2019

Happy Birthday And Thanks For Everything, Daddy

Fathers usually don't get as much loving as mothers.

Outwardly, that is. Mother's Day generates more sentimental feels and commercial hype. And Daddy's too busy (and too manly) to care about arbitrary numbers on the calendar anyway.

But make no mistake - we all owe our successes in life to our parents to a large extent, whether we realise it or not. Some contributions are obvious (e.g. paying for our college and laptops), some are more subtle (e.g. giving up on a high-paying job to spend more time at home).

The point is, Mom and Dad do much more than we actually know about. After all, how many of us recall our early days screaming in the middle of the night and wetting our bed?

Mom does the cooking, cleaning, and chores. She makes her presence felt throughout the home. Under the roof, she's the boss (even Dad can't touch her precious kitchen silverware).

Dad... um, well, Dad's always there, isn't he? Somewhere, drifting in the periphery. Outside for most times. Away fighting battles, making a living. And to unleash the ultimate punishment if you mistakenly threw Mom's silver spoons down the bin for the umpteenth time...

World's Greatest Dad

* * *

Yesterday was my Dad's birthday. He turns 73 this year.

What's so special about this year? Nothing, really. Except the sudden realisation how I've seldom ever sing praises to Mom and Dad in my writings here since 2013, whilst I've constantly waxed lyrical on my students and make the occasional passing mention to my friends (e.g. weddings - and how much I dislike them).

Of course, it's largely deliberate. I'm a fairly private person (I deleted Instagram years ago). And family affairs is especially, well, private.

Most times, I seem rather cynical about family, like my constant rants against Chinese New Year (like this year and last year). I far from being a model son - even in my family, that award definitely goes to my brother, no contest.

But that doesn't mean I've lost all the ohana spirit.

In one of my earliest posts from 2013, I recalled positively about how my parents had a great positive impact on my education:
"And that's... how I learn just about everything, not just English. I focus on being a good learner, instead of being a good student. 
And that's why my parents make the best teachers. They understood my personality and eccentricities well, and gave me the freedom to explore, learn and grow on my own. For that, I am eternally grateful to them."

* * *

Anyway, back to Dad - it's his birthday, after all (sorry, Mom, take a number).

Thanks for giving me space to explore and find myself.

Thanks for supporting my endeavours, no matter how insane they may be.

Thanks for tolerating my idiosyncrasies.

Thanks for keeping the family together, free of any crisis or drama.

Thanks for not raising your voice.

Thanks for not spoiling me.

Thanks for opening my eyes to the world.

Thanks for breaking my bad habits.

Thanks for being a better father than I will ever be.

Thanks for making me the man I am today.

Luv u 3000 xoxo

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