With three daughters in the family my Dad is very guarding. When I was younger and there was extreme water scarcity in Kohima ,he would wake up towards dawn and fetch water from the nearby well for the entire family , keeps the fire place and a pot of warm tea ready for us, then he would sit outdoors with his back facing the sun and polish my school shoe alongside his. To be responsible is what I learned from him
He didn’t know how to drive till when I was a teenager and when he eventually did he took us girls around sometimes and drop us to school safety , security and comfort is what he wanted to give us. And on days when we got sick he would fret and stay awake fixing us his own home remedy.
I know the long sighs he took sometimes spelled of burden and obligation that mostly concerned our future. I felt so helpless then, as I couldn’t do a man’s work, thinking I could have helped him physically to the least in chopping the firewood or fixing the roof sometimes. How tiring it must have been for him to be the only man in the family. I saw him feeding my Mom food and warm chicken soup when my siblings were born, I stared at them from the corner feeling shy for my Mom and found it funny then, but later on I understood who wouldn’t want a husband like that.
Me, just a mere human being feels unique and special before his eyes like God Himself is looking at me through my father’s eyes. Maybe sometime soon he will walk me down the aisle and I’ll be passed on from one arm to another but until then he has set the bars high for any men I would ever be with, these are the reasons why his weakness, his mistakes and flaws shrinks to nothing at all, because of who he is, my father.
Those are the memories my father has imprinted in my mind. It’s not every day we get to keep memories and learn lessons like this; this is an accumulation of 26 years of my being. And these are the kind of fond memories that I would want every little girl to have, not of being physically assaulted and abused that too for four years, nay not of sleepless nights she spent crying, not of the trauma that she has to live with forever, not of the dark alleys where she was last molested, and not at all to live in hatred, shame and in fear of men who call themselves father. Let’s just help daughters feel like daughters not victims , precious little ones so very lovable ,let her laugh ,giggle and live , let her grow up to be a beautiful bright woman ,don’t steal her childhood don’t steal her youth , be the father whose prayer guides her in your absence , let her want to come back and look after you during your old age, let her call you everyday to seek for a fatherly advice, let her respect you , pray for you and Thank God for the blessing that you are because you have been created in His image and nothing can ever surpass that. If you see some of your fellow friends repudiate fatherhood teach him, tell him and show him how it is done because you are the head of the family, the instigator of what is right and God himself in the most humane form.