For My Dad, On Father's Day

I speak with my Dad every day.

I don't know how that started to happen. But I know that every day, I pick up the phone to call him and speak with him. And a lot of times, I actually look forward to that phone call. It's no news that I am blessed to have really good parents, both of them. Still, when I can, I try to talk about it. Because, I am now certain it's a privilege, not a right, to have my parents.

I am not writing this for all men or all fathers (I am pretty sure there are many amazing fathers out there). I am writing this for my own father though, the person I get to call Daddy.

I am thankful to have been blessed with my Dad; a man so invested in my siblings and I. Apart from a predilection for books, writing, and gender equality, Chimamanda Adichie and I share another thing: a great love for our fathers. Like her, my Dad is much more than an inspiration to me. Apart from inspiring me to be the best possible version of myself, he is the most generous, kindest, wisest, and the most intelligent person I know. I remember watching episodes of the T.V show, The Spot and being fascinated by how much Ebuka always knows. My Dad is one of only three people I know who know a little bit of everything. I dare you to test my Dad with a word, and he will give you the meaning, instantly. Before Google, Daddy was my Google. He was the one I asked my many questions. And boy, did I have many questions as a child. He always had (and still does) answers. I am always very proud to mention what an intelligent man my Dad is, and how much of that intelligence I wish I had. Like Adichie, I absolutely enjoy spending time with my Dad. He tells me about our family history, his early life, his current life, and what he thinks his future life will look like. He never underestimated me or my siblings, neither did he regard us as "too young". For as far as I can remember, he always treated us with so much respect. And to whom much is given, much is expected. I am a curious person. I want to know what life was like for my parents when they were about my age or even younger. What did they like? Who were their friends? Where did they like to hangout? How did they relate with their own parents and siblings? What was dating like in the 70s? My Dad typically satisfies this curiosity. I know a lot about his growing up, and I look forward to hearing more.

I learnt from my Dad that fatherhood is much more than being financially responsible for your kids. Money is good. No, money is great Lol. But even more important is being invested in your children. My Dad reads everything I write. When I didn't think I could write, my Dad encouraged me. Everything I wrote with a pencil or pen from the age 3 (or 5?), he kept in a bulky file in his bedroom. Even as an adult, my Dad is just as excited about hearing I got an A as he was when he first heard I had been made the Head-Girl and Senior Prefect in my primary school. He shook my hand in the lobby of my childhood home that day and said, "That's my girl! You always make me proud." My greatest dream is to make my parents proud of me.  Although sometimes brutally honest, and too un-diplomatic for our liking, my Dad constantly teaches us through his actions to stand in our truths. He is the most principled and no-nonsense person I know, but those qualities constantly remind me to be my own person, especially in a world where it is extremely easy to conform.

I am probably the most indecisive person you'll ever come to know. But that's okay, because my Dad is always there to help. Never too busy for my LONG emails or to help edit a paper or to reply an urgent text or to pick up my call. If he has a favorite child, then he must be extremely good at keeping that secret, because none of us know who it is. Favoritism, he always says, has no place in parenting. While, he's probably the coolest Dad you know, he insists he's not our friend. Friendship and parenting, he usually says, don't go together. It's one or the other. With his wise words and philosophies, he has and still continues to instill discipline in us.

I am thankful for all these and more. I am also sure I speak for my siblings when I say we don't know what we'll do without our Dad. We are blessed to call him Daddy.

Happy Father's day, Daddy!

Thank you for being so amazing.

Love,
I

2 comments

  1. Ifeoluwa, my beautiful daughter,

    This is amazing! Although, I already made a comment on the Facebook version of this blog piece, I can't help making another comment here.

    What you write here is like having a kind image of myself laid out for my viewing pleasure. And I must thank you for being so kind. What a huge bundle of compliments! Incidentally, it all goes to confirm our Yoruba people's adage that "When you pour fresh, cold water ahead of yourself on a hot, sunny day, it ensures that you walk on soft, soothing ground." I believe that is the situation here. And I thank God for the grace to be described as such a wonderful father.

    Once again, thanks for the kind words.

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    1. You're very welcome. And it was very well deserved :-)

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