An Ode to Fathers Everywhere
Always teaching me how to dress
You're so polite and kind,
A person that would call you mean, would have to be blind
You make me happy and glad
I'm honored to have you as my Dad."
My eyes tear up as I think of my own Dad. Growing up in New Delhi, he was a shadowy figure in my childhood; a great provider and a family man, but one who left the hands-on parenting to my mom. And yet, I have a memory of a sunny Sunday when I came home, crying about a bloodied knee from crashing my bicycle into a bougainvillea bush. My Dad cleaned and patched up my bruised knee, said soothing words to me and handed me to my mom -- the manager of the household -- as she walked in the door. But the memory of his fleeting kiss on my brow as he held and comforted me continued to linger through the vagaries of my growing-up years.
The flashback springs from the depths of my memory and bursts forth over my senses, infusing them with it's sweet hues, sounds and vibrations on the day I witness his tears on my wedding day. "The fear of the unknown is what breaks a father's heart in moments like these," my mom explains patiently. "The what-ifs. Imagine the first day he held you in his arms and now he has to give you away to a guy you barely know, and just met six months ago." A mother myself, I know now how difficult that must have been.
My mother asks peevishly, why Americans set aside a special day, only one day, when fathers should be commemorated every day. She's right, of course. But, Mom, Father's Day is not Dad's birthday and neither it is mine. We can have the cake and, lots of candles. And we can both wish each other. Because really and truly, it is a celebration of 'us'.