“Any fool can have a child. That doesn't make you a father. It's the courage to raise a child that makes you a father." – Barack Obama
A man who has begotten a child. That is the definition of "father" according to Merriam-Webster. But does it stop there? Is that the only function of the male specie? To sow his seed, for some in reckless abandonment, and his purpose in the cycle of life is done? Maybe, that holds true with respect to faunas at a lower tier of the food chain. But I disagree when it comes to us, humans.
In the old days we are content with the notion that man’s responsibility is to put food on the table. As long as stomachs are full, man has done his task and is free to indulge on other forms of diversion. But in a modern world we live in, where men and women are on equal footing, where both parents (in most unit) equally share in the family expenses, it is but just right that men should also take half of the domestic chores, especially when it comes to raising offspring.
I did my part and proud of it. It never occurred to me that a portion of my manliness was taken away. I have my share in wiping off my daughter’s ahh-ahh, cleaning her butt of pooh-pooh and mopping her wee-wee. Not to mention the lack of sleep, waking up in the middle of the night to feed her when she was a baby. I don't look at it as my responsibility, but rather, I want to experience what its like to be a father.
I want to raise her in a way I deem right. Fill her with love without spoiling. Educate her in the best way I could afford. Guide her but letting her choose her own destiny. Helping her realize her own dream. In my capacity, that’s the only legacy I could give and left behind.
When I’m gone, I want to be remembered, not as the man who begotten her, but as a parent whose sacrifices were willingly made in order for her to be where she wants to be. Intact recollection of struggles and happy times we spent together, so she'll have something to reminiscence, to use as guidelines and to share to her own children. I want to be remembered as a father.
Happy Father’s Day everyone.