Conception – when you found out that I was about to arrive in 9 months’ time, you freaked out and had a meltdown. You then married mama and committed to raising a family.
Infancy – bath time was our special bonding time. You would always keep an extra towel by your side because I always splashed you with water 🙂
Toddler – you always stuck up for me, even when I was naughty as hell. Going anywhere with me was a combination of an awesome time and a nightmare. I’d be happy and easy-going on some days, and I would throw never-ending tantrums on others.
Preschooler – it was always fun walking to crèche with you. I would be hopping and skipping all the way there, and you would always pluck a goodbye kiss on my forehead before heading off to work
School age – You were my biggest supporter at all my school competitions. Remember how proud you were when I came first in the athletics relay race at school? It felt like you had achieved greatness. You always made sure to help me with my maths and science homework, no matter how tired you were after a long day at work. I succeeded because of you.
I didn’t know how strongly you felt about me staying away from boys until my last year in primary school when my maths teacher told you that I was failing because I was interested in them. You shouted at me that night, and I was really upset. Mama talked to me and told me that it was because you were protective of me.
Teenage years – Wow! What a tumultuous period. You were taking strain at work and I hardly ever saw you happy. I felt like I was becoming a different person, drifting further away each day from you and mama, and y’all didn’t know what to do with me. If only we had communicated during that time, so many misunderstandings and arguments would’ve been prevented.
You were proud when I graduated from high school with several distinctions, and I was happy that I made you proud.
I was ecstatic that I was going off to university, thinking of my newfound freedom to explore the world and become my own person. I had no idea that you were worried about how you’d be covering my tuition, let alone know that the extra hours you were working throughout my high school years was to raise funds for my tertiary education.
Post adolescence – You struggled to accept that I was no longer a little girl, but you were happy that you raised a head-strong young woman. You grappled between saving me from all my mistakes and letting me grow into my own. You always supported me by being my number one cheerleader, even when you didn’t really understand my decisions.
Young adult – So glad we can have conversations about money, politics and men. The idea of me having a boyfriend still grosses you out, and I find that quite funny! I know you’re proud of who I am and what I’ve achieved, and you’re super excited for the future.
I realize that you’re not a young man anymore, so I want to love and care for you as best as I can while you’re still here with me.
Thank you for being the best father a daughter could ever ask for 🙂
*image from Creative Commons.