Fatherhood is wonderful! It comes with a second title, disciplinarian. Shaping and moulding your kids being a blessing in disguise. It is hard yet the easiest job one can have. Every father wishes their child the best. The unforeseen and unprecedented is what they prepare us for. A household without a father figure is evident from outside.
One barely prepares to be a father, but it is a beautiful surprise. Tough and manly as you maybe, you are never ready for the beautiful emotions that follow the news. Some are caught off; others work for it. Bottom line is, they all come with a sense of security. Remember how growing up we compared our fathers’ strength? “Baba yangu anaweza piga baba yako!” (My dad can beat your dad) We said that with pride even if we knew they could be blown away by the gentlest breeze.
Fatherhood comes with an extra burden- your thoughts. Every Time something is amiss, you must worry for all. After all, you are the anchor of the family. Every little detail within the house comes from you. Things fall apart when you are away. With just a pair of shoes, you last 10 years. I wonder how they have not found the 10th wonder of the world when you exist. It is bonkers, right?
It does not come with a manual. Guess what that means? It will change you no matter what. You may be the most respected, most feared or the toughest man within your neighbourhood, but this one role will humble you. Drunkards and immoral men have changed for the better. Good men panic at the thought of changing their title. Even at their worst states (financial, health etc.) Fathers suck it in, toughen up and try to move the world just for their children and families to have their basic requirements.
The position comes in different bodies. One which does not shy from showing their kids love. Another which gives tough love and is respected and sometimes feared but adored by outsiders. You know those whose pride cannot allow them to shop for their teenagers but will leave them “heavy in their pockets”? That is the one. Lastly, the ones who disappear from the house in the morning and show up when kids are on their 3rd dream. They all care in equal measure and are motivated on different levels to maintain their crown.
Fathers endure raising kids and watching all the praise go to mothers. Waiting for Mpesa messages only to receive 2 minute calls confirming their existence. Do they complain? No! They take it as the invisible superheroes they are. Imagine spending all your days grooming your child for greatness, they achieve that goal then only call to confirm you are alive every 2 months? Imagine watching kids chat with their mothers for hours but you only get 2 minutes? That is how strong fathers are. They don’t complain. Even better, they shrug it off and let that undeserving envy disappear, but you wouldn’t notice because they are fathers. That is what they do.
Fathers are the pillars and foundations of many families but never get enough credit for it. Mothers are great and celebrated 425 days a year and that is okay, but what if we could replicate that affection to the supermen behind those reflections? In most cases we outgrow the bond with fathers. Could be because of their tough nature, toxic mothers, or whatever transition we go through in life. The fact that they contribute to our existence should warrant praise and appreciation.
This Father’s Day, we celebrate ALL the fathers. Without them our existence would be a narrative. For the actively present fathers, present fathers, absent because they know not of their kid’s existence and any father trying to make the future bright for their families. We celebrate you.
To the absent fathers even with the knowledge of their kid’s existence, we pray for light to shine upon you. Tyler Perry once said, “The only obligation your parents had was to bring you to this world and they did. No matter what happens after, they already fulfilled the hardest part!” HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to ALL FATHERS. We appreciate the little sacrifices.
By John Oranga
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