When you found out that I was about to arrive in 9 months, you freaked out and had a meltdown. You married mama and committed to raising a family.
Bath time was our special bonding time. You would always keep an extra towel by your side because I always splashed you with water 🙂
The toddler period
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.
The preschool period
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.
The school period
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. My maths teacher told you that I was failing because of my interest in boys, and this made you seethe with anger. You shouted at me that night, and I was distraught. Mama talked to me and told me that it was because you were protective of me.
The teenage period
Wow! What a tumultuous period. You were taking strain at work, and I remember seeing how unhappy you were. 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 this time, we would have prevented so many arguments.
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. The thought of being able to explore the world with no limits and the opportunity to become my own person excited me. I had no idea that you were working extra hours during my high school years to raise funds for my tertiary education.
The post-adolescence period
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 understand my decisions.
The young adult
I’m so glad that we can have conversations about money, politics and men, to name a few. 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.