August 2002. I was the special one – the centre of all attention. Snacks were being packed, lists were being made, and stickers were being printed. Friends and family from all over the city were stopping by to wish me luck. My dream was coming true. In a matter of few days, I would be flying off to the land of opportunities, more importantly to the land of freedom. I would be finally moving out of the shadow of my parents who I anyways had started taking for granted since I joined college to be on my own.
However, while all were happy and excited for me, I could see that my dad wasn’t being himself since the past few days. He was quieter than usual, not throwing his weight around the house as much as we are used to seeing him do. I thought maybe he’s unhappy that I’ll be gone maybe never to come back. But then I would quickly dismiss the thought thinking it’s my dad. He cannot be sad. It was my mother who I thought was becoming unnecessarily emotional since the past couple of months, often shedding a tear on my shoulder whilst warning me not to forget her soon.
Then the day came when I was all packed up and ready to go. My house was filled with friends and family. Just before I started moving my bags out of the house, my dad took me to one side, hugged me and the impossible happened. He started crying like a baby. He was out of control. I am not sure what was I thinking at that time as I too cried.
But when I look back at that evening even today, I realize that it took my dad a full twenty one years to show his emotional side to me, to show me how much he loved his grown up son and how much his life would be different without me just being around.
That evening changed my relationship with my father forever. My hitherto transactional relationship with my father changed into a mature relationship of friendship, into a relationship of sharing and understanding each other.
Need I explain any further? I rest my case.
To conclude, I just want to clarify to dads that showing your emotional side to your child does by no means equate to crying. Just telling your kid ‘I love you’, giving a hi-five, a cheer or a peck on the cheek for no reason would just about do the job.
Image Courtesy – http://theebergdorfbrunette.blogspot.in/ (main image)
- Saurabh Shah
- February 15, 2017
- 3 Comment