Note: I wrote this blog much earlier expecting to publish it for the Father's Day and saved it in my office's laptop. But with my short break at the Empire, I did not have access to that laptop and I had to write another one for Father's Day which I didn't particularly enjoy as much as this one. Since I thought this is a much better blog than the one I published on Sunday and not to mention the amount of research I had to do - rather than wait for the 2007 Father's Day, I am publishing it here as we should not just wait for Father's Day to say our love to our fathers. Here it is:-
A few weeks ago, my six year old son drew a picture of a car on a road. He showed the picture to me and he told me that it will look beautiful hanging on my office wall. I asked him to put the picture in my bag. The next day, I forgot to take the picture out. When I came home that evening, he asked me whether I have placed it on my wall. I told a white lie and said I did. He asked me what did I think of it. I told him it looks fine but my son looked a bit disappointed expecting something else. The next day, I took the picture out and on it he had written without me knowing it 'I love you'. When I came back home that day, I told him the picture was very beautiful and he asked me whether I liked it and I told him, yes, I love the picture very much and I very much love the sentiments that was written on the picture as well.
My blog a few days ago on 'family' raised a few comments (in the side comment box) and in my e-mails. Bruneians are I guess in some nature a little bit shy or reserved to say 'I love you' to our parents. My six year old has no problem saying that but I am just wondering there will be an age when he will no longer say that to me. It is not our nature I guess to be openly affectionate. In some sense we are caught between the time when the father is someone we have to be very respectful to the point that even a raised eyebrow would scare the living daylights out of you and the time of the modern young fathers of today. Today most modern young fathers no longer have that attitude. Most will play with their children and at the same time, children are no longer frightened of their parents. I am not sure whether that's a good thing or a bad thing.
Fathers are different than mothers. We seek solace and comfort from our mothers but from our fathers, sometimes we don't know what to expect. We see him as someone we look up to, someone we can seek shelter under and someone as a pillar of strength. By the time we realised we need him, sometimes it may be too late. One poem I came across succinctly puts it -
When I was:
Four years old: My daddy can do anything.
Five years old: My daddy knows a whole lot.
Six years old: My dad is smarter than your dad.
Eight years old: My dad doesn't know exactly everything.
Ten years old: In the olden days, when my dad grew up, things were sure different.
Twelve years old: Oh, well, naturally, Dad doesn't know anything about that. He is too old to remember his childhood.
Fourteen years old: Don't pay any attention to my dad. He is so old-fashioned.
Twenty-one years old: Him? My Lord, he's hopelessly out of date.
Twenty-five years old: Dad knows about it, but then he should, because he has been around so long.
Thirty years old: Maybe we should ask Dad what he thinks. After all, he's had a lot of experience.
Thirty-five years old: I'm not doing a single thing until I talk to Dad.
Forty years old: I wonder how Dad would have handled it. He was so wise.
Fifty years old: I'd give anything if Dad were here now so I could talk this over with him. Too bad I didn't appreciate how smart he was. I could have learned a lot from him.
- anon -
Father's Day is coming this Sunday being the third Sunday of June as decreed by US President Lyndon Johnson in 1966 but it was President Nixon in 1972 which made it as a legal permanent national observance. Father's Day originated by Mrs Sonora Dodd nee Smart who wanted to honour her father William Smart in 1909. Her father raised 6 children by himself on a rural farm. When she was older, she realised just how much her father had done and she advocated the idea of a 'father's day'. It was first observed in 1910 before spreading throughout America. It is now celebrated worldwide. Though not all countries celebrate it on the same day.
With the upcoming Father's Day, most people would now have the opportunity to send a card and a present to your fathers. You can say 'I love you' in those cards or you can give it to him and say those words to him. In our Brunei society, you may not have to say it. It is enough to know that he knows that you love him even though you will never have the guts to say that you love him but it is also enough to know that he loves you. Talk to your dad while he is still here. For those whose fathers are no longer here with us today, remember him with your prayers. Without him, you would not be here today.