Read on how to enrich your life by purpose, i.e. to find depth and, a reason to get out of bed each morning, your own Ikigai.
A teenaged daughter writes to her father; now that he keeps busy most of the time, she misses their time together.
A lot is expressed about the mother and child relationship; there are famous artists who have painted pictures showcasing the emotional bonding between a mother and a child. The reason is obviously that a mother is more present to the child.
Now that our society is going through a change where mothers are taking up more demanding jobs and an effort is going on to release fathers from just being bread-winners, it is imperative to see how a growing daughter of today perceives her father and what dreams she holds for her first hero.
Papa, as I am growing up I see you growing busier each year; earlier we used to watch TV together, you used to make a sand castle for me in the park, or a cardboard dog house. Now we only occasionally spend time together. I understand you are working very hard so that I get to go to a good college and have a good life. I am also getting busy with my studies and TV. Papa, our ‘together time’ is something that I crave for. If I learn counting skills from you and punctuality too, then I am sure I will manage much better as a grown up.
When you are not working you are hooked on to your laptop or you are complaining about tiredness. Are you taking care of what you eat in the office canteen or from the café where you go for meetings at times? Do you still think that you are in your twenties and your body can digest anything and everything you eat or drink? Papa, I will be twenty in some years and believe me, you have grown old too. It is time you think more about your tiredness; is it that you don’t get enough sleep, or is it the food that is making you feel tired?
I love the gifts that you bring from your office tours, they are always cool. I know in the airports you are very calm and happy, you pick the best things for me. I show them off to my friends! I hate though the occasional bouts of anger you burst into. I know I sometime crib, nag, shout, argue, and slam the door behind me. I don’t understand why I do that; may be because I want you to look at me and say something to me even angrily.
As I am growing up I have started valuing the activities that we do together (which have become rare now), whether it is to help you while cooking, or cycling, watching a movie together, discussing gadgets (especially if they are Apple products!) Most of all, I love team up with you and bug mom!
I have noticed that when mom goes on office tours (thank god she does that sometimes!) you change into a cool father. You have a special way of parenting far different from mom. You are much more planned and you chart out each day with plans on food, activities and doing nothing. You cook different things and I love them. I miss not having mother, but I enjoy being with you for more time.
Also, when mother asks you about how things are going, I love to see the shine in your eyes when you say that we are having a great time together. I understand that you also like to spend time with me; it is only that you focus more on work when mother is at home to take care of me. Mother reads books and articles on parenting; she writes about it too but you just find your way into it.
From being a kid, I have felt most comfortable and safe when I see you and mother sitting together with a cup of coffee or tea and talking with each other, about your childhood, friends, movies, work etc. The humming noise from your talking and laughing together helps me calm down and get busy in my world with a book or music.
It is hard to see you two fight so badly with each other at times. You become very different when you brutally criticize each other. I used to be afraid and often felt that I would turn into a suitcase kid like in the book Suitcase Kid by Jacqueline Wilson and would hang in the middle of you two. I am learning to ignore your fights nowadays and music helps me in this. I have discussed this with my friends and it seems all parents fight sometime or other, like we do with our BFFs. I hope it is like that only and nothing more!
As I grow up, I would want to travel alone, stay alone or in hostels and random hotels, explore places as you and mother have done in your lives. I look forward to do that and I would like to share my experiences with you. I hope you don’t get too old and boring by then!
You are pretty cool in keeping up with social media, the online games that I like and the music that I am into. But I see sometimes you don’t like them and comment like a very old fellow. I hope you will not distance yourself from my world of newness and will not tick me off on my likes and dislikes just because they don’t match with yours. Because I want to discuss stuff with you and mother.
I don’t want to be like those kids who hide from their parents; they need to do it because their parents don’t try to understand them, they only preach. Papa, we can work on being a team and keep baking our cakes and steaming biriyani together even when we agree to disagree at many points of life.
So dear Papa, tell me, would you be my buddy in the years to come?
Father and daughter on the beach image via Shutterstock
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