Monday, January 17, 2005

daddy n dad

i recently got married and now i have a daddy and a dad. daddy being my own father and dad, my father-in-law.

they have such different personalities and yet i find many similarities. daddy is quiet and reserved, whereas dad loves to talk and have parties. daddy is allergic to alcohol and dad enjoys getting 'spiritual'. and the list goes on.

the common ground is that they both come from the same school and are whole-heartedly loyal to their alma mater. the school rally was ingrained in me since i was six by my father and i can't even remember my own school songs!! and guess what, my husband is from the same school!

loyal they may be to their place of learning, that's where this particular similarity stops. one is fiercely proud of his alma mater and the other had never 'left' the school. he taught there, and even though he is retired, the place where he spent most of his life is cemented into his heart and his soul. his immediate family might not like the idea of 'his' school taking precedent over them, and i can understand why. but seeing him interacting with his former students, and how they revere him, paints a totally different picture.

there are also similarities in their core behaviour as well. both are men of very strong principles, quick witted and armed with tongues like the samurai's sharpest sword. their level and comprehension of the english language (the queen's english, mind you. to them the is no other kind) is so extensive that to hold a serious conversation with them, most of us might need to have a dictionary close-by.

they are of the conservative era, but it sometimes amazes me to experience their openmindedness and acceptance of modern day practices.

when it comes to their own, they are both slow to praise but expects the best (especially in the aspects of educational achievements, choice of friends, moral standings, and so on and so forth. then again, most parents do have this common trait). as we grow older, we slowly learn to recognize the glitter in their eyes that symbolizes their pride. they may not speak of it, not to our face at least, but sometimes all it takes for us is that split-second look. that's why when i have made a personal milestone, i peer really hard at my father to see if i can catch that telltale sign.

now, these are men whose children will learn to appreciate only when they've grown mature enough. they are not easy to understand. in fact i realise that my daddy had always treated me as an adult. therefore he's always expected me to be mature enough to make the correct decisions. but being a kid, i always, always made the kiddy one i.e the wrong one. i hated the veto power he had over everything i did.

there was a time when i did not speak to him for months. didn't even acknowledge his presence even though he was right there beside me. and when day of reconciliation came, i saw my father cry for the first time in my life and at that point i knew, he is a human being, a mere man, and not a demi God. he is a man. he too cries. he's my father.

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