Breakfast in bed blended of a full English and a dash of Filipino. Mother led with a breakfast tray decorated with cooked jasmine rice, sausages, bacon and a scrambled egg. I looked at Jiboy sheepishly as he carried the cards and a Top Dad mug upstairs. I almost want to sing happy birthday, but there are no songs until the Primary presentation later.
Today is different.
Today is father’s day.
Dad, if you’re reading this, I’d like to tell you that you’re doing great. I know you are doing your best and I am grateful for all you do.You were always actions-speak-louder-than-words dad. To honour this year, I listed out the top three things I learned from you, whether you meant to teach them or not.
1. Add fire and flavour in your life.
Dad, I submit to the fact that you are king of the kitchen.Many times I stepped in to cook for the family, without fail, you’d scrunched your eyes at me. “Gi butangan na ba ni ug sibuyas og garlic?” In other words, was there sautéed onions and garlic in this?
You always taught me to sauté garlic and onion first before anything else. I used to (note: used to) take offence, which was bratty of me. I could be very sipat at times, and little things like that prickled me to the core. It was something I already knew, something I already did time and time again. I have not burnt anything, save for that one time with the chicken nuggets., but it wasn’t like I burned the kitchen or the whole house down!
I know this went on for a while, but then it just got exhausting. Once I stopped thinking of you as an overseer, I understood things a little differently. You were helping me build a habit, fine-tune a skill and craft a successor by egging me on from time to time.
So, I guess I should say thank you for letting me fall into that trap helping me better myself. I’d like to think I’m not far behind from owning the throne.
2. Embrace your inner child.
Wherever you were at home, you’re often chortling with mum or guffawing like Apay does at viral videos, most maniacally. You have this weird sense of humour, and we can’t help but laugh along because we’re a family. We share the weird and there’s no escaping it.
There was that one time that you said you were grateful to have classy children or else you would’ve dishonoured the whole family, or the times you reminisced of high school. I can’t believe the trick you used to fit into super skinny Levi’s jeans.
I’ve learned to laugh loud and hard because of you. Life is a less grey and all the more colourful when you smile and laugh. Our house is a home because of all the laughter we’ve shared.
3. Forgive, let go, and give second chances.
I used to argue with you a lot. I forgot you were human sometimes. Like me, you were prone to your own faults and weaknesses. Just like me, you’re not perfect.
When I learned to let go of such high expectations, I realised you were a blessing. For as long as I could remember, you always put family first. You turned your life for the better after you wanted to spend forever with mum. You worked, worked, worked to put us through private school, to help us survive and thrive, to give us more than you did.
I know we were a breeze when were children, a little bit chaotic as teenagers but despite the challenges then, the challenges now, you stuck with us and led our family to greener pastures.
I know how much you love mum. I know how much you love the gospel. I know how much you want to give the entire universe for us, your kids. I know you aren’t perfect and I still love you all the same.
I’ve already told mum this, ut when you guys are wrinkly and grey, don’t worry because I’ll take care you.
Happy father’s day! Because every day should be a day to celebrate your selfless service and sincere sacrifice.