Tuesday, June 20, 2017
WHAT is a father? There are several answers to this question. It varies from person to person, culture, upbringing, and experience.
A father is an important figure in the household. Our Filipino culture teaches us that a father is the haligi ng tahanan, the foundation of a home. Without a father, the home collapses.
A father is a source of strength. When everything else fails, a child believes that his or her father will save the day. A father provides stability in the family. While a mother provides love and care, a father ensures that the children follow the rules of the house.
These are just a few of definitions of a father. However, these are generic in nature. It would be good if the definition comes from the heart.
My own definition of a father is based on my own experience with my own Tatay. For me, a father gives quality time to his children. No matter how exhausting his day is, he makes sure that he spends time with his kids. He plays games, read books, watches TV, and tickles small children. A child will forever remember these happy memories together with his dad.
Spending time also means being present in important events of the family such as birthdays, graduation, and recognition day, among others. The family is his top priority above anything else.
A father participates in raising his children. His responsibilities are not limited to providing the needs of the family. He helps his wife in the household tasks such as bathing, feeding and disciplining the children. He acknowledges the fact that his wife needs him; hence, he is not selfish in lending his hand to her.
A father imparts values to his children. He also lives these values. He inculcates respect, love, obedience and generosity into the hearts of his children.
A father is also an inspiration. Children look up to him and make him their motivation to achieve success in life. When failures beset the child, the father is the first person who rushes at the side of the child, making him feel that everything is going to be okay.
All of these are idealistic definitions, if you come to think of it; somehow a perfect father is painted in these descriptions. There is no perfect father, I know. But if a father tries to exhibit these attitudes, perhaps, there will be a lot of happy children.
I am very grateful and blessed to have a father who shows unselfish love beyond measure. He is not perfect but he tries his best to fulfill his responsibilities. Every time I see my Tatay fix the bike of my daughter or buy goodies from the store for my kiddo, I cannot help but be teary-eyed. It is pure love.
When I was a kid, my dad would let me sit on his lap and kiss my chubby cheeks. We (my sisters and I) would ride his bike and we would drop by a sari-sari store to eat merienda.
My dad introduced me to the music of Abba, Bee Gees, Boney M, and Celine Dion.
When my mom is angry with me, I could run to him and cry. I have happy childhood memories with my Tatay. I pray every day that God will bless him with a long life and good health.
I would like to end this article with a quote from Cathy Stevens Parker: “A dad is a person who is loving and kind, and often he knows what you have on your mind. He’s someone who listens, suggests and defends. A dad can be one of your very best friends; he’s proud of your triumphs but when things go wrong, a dad can be patient and helpful and strong. In all that you do, a dad’s love plays a part. There’s always a place for him deep in your heart and each year that passes you’re even more glad, more grateful and proud just to call him your dad!” (email@example.com/PN)