On my way to town, I noticed many fathers bringing their daughters for a day out. I suddenly remembered today was Father’s Day and died a little inside, reminiscing the relationship between my father and I.
He has ceased into the background of my life, his most significant role being the other half of my DNA makeup and my surname. My parents divorced when I was three (I think ). My mother raised me up single-handedly from that point on, even providing for nearly all of our financial needs.
“Mummy” was my first word, “MUMMEYYYYHH!!!!” was the first thing I cried out when a stranger bumped into me – daddy ‘accidentally’ left me behind on a family outing in a shopping mall. My mother will be the first person I call for help once upon a time when I was absolutely terrified of cockroaches, and couldn’t get into our apartment for the intense fear of the icky creature sitting right in front of the door. My mother stopped some of my primary school teachers from constantly picking on me. I took counsel from her when one of my high school teachers tried making my life difficult.
Now that I’m studying abroad, I began to appreciate more of her efforts in bringing me up well. I used to get a decent scolding for being untidy and inconsistent with the house chores. After about nine months of living in a shared flat with four other guys, mind you, – who consistently leaves pots and plates unwashed for weeks, forgets to put out the rubbish, leaves lots of grease on the grill and stove and not bothered to clean up afterwards, inefficient in paying the utility bills, the list goes on and on- I realised just how much work she has been doing alone all this while.
She kept the house clean, prepared my meals, worked 9-to-5 (and countless overtimes), sent me to ballet and piano lessons until I moved into boarding school. Did anybody offer to help her? Few. We stopped hiring maids when I was 7 or 8 after many of them ran away, ran away with some belongings which weren’t theirs, and or siphoning off resources from the kitchen to share among the other foreign maids working with other families in the neighbourhood.
We lived well.
As for my father, I only see him occasionally during Aidilfitri or any other times when we meet up. I would rather keep my distance from him, and I do not appreciate anybody trying to reconcile our relationship. Nothing is broken anyway. Reason being, having him close may see myself getting tied down with his 1903734682195 problems.
I am content with my little happy family bubble of my mother, grandfather, and several close family friends of ours. I have a little circle of friends whom I cherish. To all the single parents out there (including couples with kids who are technically married, but the other half is away for work more than half the time), you have my deep respect.
To mummy, Happy Father’s Day.
May God bless you always.