Happy Fathers Day to all the great dads out there!
We are a family of mostly girls and we were blessed to have fathers who loved us and nurtured us and molded the women that we are today. They guided us to do the right things for ourselves and for others but they also indulged our whims and catered to our whining. They were our first knights and protectors. With them watching our backs, we felt we could conquer anything in our realm. We are princesses and these are the men who made us.
So thank you, Papa, Uncle, Lolo and Husband. Thank you from your daughters who will always remember all the gestures, labors of love and sacrifices you made on our behalf.
Thank you to my Papa for giving me wings when at 12 you said you wouldn’t have to spank me anymore because I should already know what is wrong and what is right. Thank you too for taking probably the last cash from your wallet to buy a trinket I just had to have. Thank you for having the patience to have your girl in the kitchen while you cook, for letting us hang around when your buddies came by for ‘pulutan’, for all the silly jokes and for introducing us to music. Your voice will forever sing within us.
To Uncle, thank you for dropping me and my sisters off to school everyday. Thank you for taking in three strangers and made them your daughters. Nothing made my tiara shine brighter than all the times you proudly introduced us as your daughters. Thank you for taking us to amusement parks, fishing trips and places that probably tired you out but you knew would be fun for us. Thank you for going with me to court when I got in trouble and my mom was so incensed she refused to go. Thank you for whispering to me that I can come back home anytime if I need to when I was setting off to move across country.
To my Lolo who is long departed but always in my heart, thank you for being a man I was proud to call my grandfather. We didn’t ever get a chance to have long conversations. I wish now that I had been a more talkative child. Your quiet strength and stillness of spirit is what remains with me to this day though. I remember you there during the times I needed comfort and though you didn’t say much I felt you and knew that somehow you will find a way to make things right so I can smile again.
Finally, to my dearest husband and father of my daughters, thank you for completely vanquishing the tiger mom instincts in me and making princesses out of our girls. When I tried to teach them to go to sleep on time by letting them cry it out just like the parenting books said, you insisted on going to them and carrying them around, letting them fall asleep on your chest. When the books said to let them sleep on their own beds, you instead created a family bed by butting another bed against ours just so we can all sleep together.
When they started school and I was determined to stick to a homework routine after school, you sabotaged that by having them play out in the yard or watch cartoons, Dr. Who and Star Trek with you. When I try to ration out the ice cream, you told them to eat all they want! And now that they are teens, when I start texting them at 10:30 to remind them of their 11 o’clock curfew, you tell me to let them be. You tell me to remember how it was when I was their age, and I cringe.
But you had your way of teaching them too. Like letting them play with your power tools and art supplies before they learned how to write complete sentences. When they showed interest in anything, you were the first to encourage them. And when they showed disinterest in a subject, you went about teaching it to them in your own way anyway. Just like the time your papered their walls with the periodic table, the world map, the Greek alphabet and Roman Numerals. They thanked you later when they realized they’ve learned all that just by passing by it everyday.
The men in our life are far from perfect, they will be the first to tell you that. But for the princesses that they created, they are the most perfect men for us. Thank you, DADS, for all the great and little things that you do!