I have finally learnt a few words like ‘buddy’ and am on the way to be the so called ‘modern’ dad you wanted me to be. I hear you ask why do I call you buddy rather than my son. As you would have observed, in my style of parenting, the children should always feel that while interacting with their parents they are as comfortable as interacting with their friends. They should be able to tell anything and everything without having the fear to be judged.
There was a phase during my growing up years when I felt that my parents didn’t know anything. I felt that they didn’t understand me at all. As far as I was concerned, they were pretty much outcasts when it came to my thinking, my friends and my general way of life. I always feared for the fact that if I share my life’s stories with them, they would judge me rather than share meaningful advice.
It was only when you were born did I experience the joy and happiness (as cliched as it sounds) which comes with being a father. Slowly but surely, I began to realize the trials, tribulations and the many sacrifices parents make to bring up their children. I admonished myself thinking of the times when I had reacted back angrily at a simple thing which my father said only for him to coolly respond to me.
While there were certain challenges we faced during your delivery, Annie was strong throughout and once we saw you, all the pain simply vanished away. At that time, we could have never imagined that visits to the hospital would become more and more regular as the years pass by.
Despite all this, we always ensured that your life would be as normal as possible like any of the other young kids around. While it was recommended that you avoid outdoor activities, I know that many a time you did go to play outside without informing us. While as a parent I am disappointed that you did so, I can totally empathize with the fact that you wanted to have fun with your friends and nothing more. At such a young age, it would be too much to expect you to listen to every word we said. And I say so having been in your shoes many moons ago.
I always remember our beautiful times like walking hand in hand on the beach, taking you to the park to ride your bicycle, seeing you painting with so much vigour in your art and craft classes, you bringing the house down with your naughty antics, the fun you had playing on the swing in the park day in and day out and much more. These are the moments which I hope will help me smile in the times to come.
As I write this, I can hear the various sounds of the machines in the hospital. It’s like our life has become so used to it that if I don’t hear these sounds day in and day out, it would feel quite weird so to say.
I am not sure if you would be able to read this but I just want to say that we love you.
And as I finish, a tear rolls down my cheek. Sorry John! I have tried to be as strong as possible but somehow this one just came out.