This post was first published in Jun 22, 2009 on My Ivory Throne, 7 months after my son was born.
Re-reading this reminded me how much of a wreck I was 4 years ago. It’s very sobering.
My first Father’s Day.
I’ve told my wife what I really thought of Father’s Day from my own point of view, particularly after having witnessed what she had to go through giving birth to our son. Father’s Day to me was like an afterthought; someone came up with Mother’s Day, and then about a month after celebrating the general awesomeness of motherhood and giving thanks to the pain and hardship of women the world over for bringing up the next generation of leaders, movers and shakers, someone else suddenly sat up and asked, “What about the fathers?”
If you asked me today, “Do you feel like a father?”, I honestly would say no. I mean, given the last 6 months, as opposed to the extra 9 months of labour my wife had to go through, coupled with the last 30 hours of birthing that eventually involved every standard birth procedure (natural, induced, forceps and C-section), I was about as useful as my little toe. And till today, I still feel that way.
Some of you may know I got into a chain collision a week back. No injuries, save for a motorcyclist skidding that turned out to be the cause of the sudden turn of events but was deemed umrelated to the subsequent cars affected. Well, although no one got seriously hurt, the implications weighed heavily on me. For one, I was the last car involved, meaning the car’s insurance would be bearing the brunt of all the other vehicles’ claims. Add to that the fact that it was my father-in-law’s car, not mine, so evidently I’m not a named driver in the policy. Then add to that the fact that I just got my license and am still under probation, and you’ve got yourself a big mess worthy of a teenager’s penchant for trouble.
I’m gonna go out on a limb by saying this whole accident incident has made me doubt my self-worth as a father, a husband and a so-called head of my household. In the current climate, what with my company’s cutbacks and the general downturn in the incomes of those around me, I really couldn’t afford an accident in my current position. Where before that fateful day I felt like I could accomplish a lot, for a week and counting I was put in my place right proper and told to fucking grow up and come back to earth.
My in-laws were nothing but compassionate about my plight and stopped at nothing to help me out with the car repairs, insurance queries, and most of all, breaking the news to my father-in-law. As much as I deeply appreciated them for everything they did, I felt deeply ashamed that I wasn’t doing right by their daughter and sister. And I’m deeply ashamed that thus far I have done more harm than good for my wife and child because of my carelessness.
So do I feel like a father? No.
I feel bad for my own dear old dad. In the midst of having to deal with my own problems, my communication with my parents have been getting less and less, with my dad getting the brunt of the neglect.
He hasn’t been doing too well either in the past months. After having to deal with doctors telling him he’s got a heart problem and even showed evidence in his ECG that he’s had a heart attack and stroke before (so mild even he didn’t notice), current medical results now show that he’s possibly diabetic.
He’s aged a lot in the last 2 years. The tiredness is manifesting in his receding hairline, growing number of wrinkles, his lack of energy and even his mood. The once energetic man with a corny sense of humour and an ability to solve problems in a heartbeat is now a tired old man, prone to impatience and bad temperment and sorely in need of sleep.
And all I could do today was send him a Father’s Day greeting via SMS. Heck of a father I am, and now, heck of a son.
Someone should just fire me from my life, because I’m doing a terrible job of living it.