The US President revealed his lighter side as he ventured into his concerns as a father. His worries about daughter Malia, who turns twelve in July found the first mention. “Like most of you my prayers are general: Lord, give me patience as I watch Malia go to her first dance – where there will be boys. Lord let that skirt get longer as she travels to the dance.”
Life is such a great leveler. So what if he is the President; he is also a concerned daddy at heart. His dreams, his worries reverberate with most fathers in the world.
Fathers remain indulgent and protective towards daughters, but become coaches and purveyors of wisdom for sons. The love remains unconditional for both yet the former relationship remains verbal whereas the latter sometimes becomes muted.
Once children grow up, dads continue to remain heroes for daughters, yet, seldom remain buddies for sons. The stereotypical image of a filmi father comes to mind where the righteous dad tells his wayward son to pack his bags and leave the house for good.
Whether it is a son or a daughter, the transition from an innocent child to an unpredictable teen goes away in a flash. When was the last time my son did not get up early to watch cartoon ? When was it that he stopped giggling at fart making jokes? When did he stop holding my hand in the market? Or when did he start conveying his disapproval with a studied silence instead of whining loudly? I never seem to have noticed. Yet these were milestones just like learning to walk or learning to ride a bicycle.
As I go back in time, it feels like yesterday. Or was it a lifetime ago? I am talking about my first bicycle ride. And who else but daddy was there holding the cycle, as I nervously perched on the pink seat. I was nervous but confident. Dad wouldn’t let me fall. As I wobbled, he jogged alongside enthusiastically. Within minutes the bicycle zoomed and he continued running alongside, until he was sure that I won’t fall. The ever protective dad!
Later when I went to a hostel, my dad turned up every weekend for the initial few months. My brother holds this grouse that dad never ever went to meet him. On second thoughts, he should be thankful. I doubt any eighteen year old boy would want dad with chocolates in a boy’s hostel.
I lost my dad to the emperor of maladies. While I feel his presence guiding, monitoring, and mentoring me, I long for the warmth of his protective hug, his comforting presence and the glint of his reassuring eyes.
Daddy's Little Girl. Always.