In case you’ve forgotten, it’s Father’s Day this Sunday (June 15). Don’t feel bad; the hype that surrounds Mother’s Day tends to be markedly less when it comes to the annual special day for dads. But while fathers may not care very much about presents, there’s no harm in doing something a little extra for them to make them feel your appreciation.
Just a month ago, my dad mentioned he saw a bunch of school kids giving out single stalks of roses to passers-by at the MRT station near our house. My mum asked why he didn’t receive one.
“I’m not a mother,” he grumbled, sounding a little sad. “It’s a Mother’s Day thing.”
Poor fathers. Even though there is a general consensus that men don’t fuss over special occasions as much as women do, it’s always nice to feel appreciated – especially by someone you love. So, this year, we at Material World have decided to pay a little tribute to our own dads. The simple question, “What’s the most important lesson you’ve learnt from your father?” serves as a point of reflection and made all four of us think hard. We hope it will inspire you to do the same.
On her relationship with her father: “Not to be shameless but I honestly believe that I’m my Dad’s favourite child! Although he’s well-known for his short temper and grumpy temperament, my dad rarely loses his cool with me. Growing up, I must admit that I was one of those annoying kids who never tried to understand their parents. I remember always getting annoyed with my dad because of small little things. When I think back to my days as an obnoxious child, my dad’s patience and tolerance with me have been truly amazing.”
On the most important thing she’s learnt from him: “That Time is the best gift you can give to a person you love. There was once I had a massive piece of cross-stitch that I needed to complete for school. My teacher at that time was this unreasonable ***** who went out of her way to make things difficult for me. But every time she set down something I – and only I – had to do, my dad would be there to help me out. Anyway, back to this cross-stitch … my dad stood waiting for me at this cross-stitch shop filled with women while the shop assistant helped me sort out the piece! She mentioned to me, “Your dad is a very patient man.” And that moment, I knew that if you truly care and love someone, you will make Time for them.”
On her relationship with her father: “My dad spent a good part of my childhood and teenage years in Australia working as a flying instructor, but I’m glad to say that we’re much closer now – we spend a lot of time bonding over our favourite sports. I’ll sit down and watch the EPL with him, while he asks me questions about MMA as we watch UFC on Sunday mornings.”
On the most important thing she’s learnt from him: “The one thing I’ve learnt from him is to always put in 100% in whatever I do. He’s always been a silent supporter in all my endeavours, whether it’s choosing to study English Literature at university (even though he had to pay an extra year’s tuition fees as I only changed my major in my third year), or learning to play the guitar (an endeavour that didn’t last for too long, I have to admit). Thanks Dad, for everything you’ve done!”
On her relationship with her father: “Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been known as a ‘Daddy’s girl’, and this close bond I share with my dad continues even today. He’s extremely long-suffering and always puts up with my shitty behaviour (perpetual crankiness, getting him to pick me up from strange places when I’m drunk, etc.). Now, 27 years on, I’m happy to announce my dad still has a knack for making me laugh like no one can.”
On the most important thing she’s learnt from him: “I give him a lot of flak for this, but I actually secretly admire my dad’s unyielding optimism. Life hasn’t always been kind to him, yet he continues to live each day with overflowing cheeriness and positivity. As much as I have a propensity for melancholy, I look at my dad and think, ‘Okay, maybe life doesn’t have to be that gloomy after all.’”
On her relationship with her father: “I always tell people my dad’s an amazing cook, but he’s so much more than just that. I can always count on him to come to my rescue whenever I sense danger (read: cockroaches), and he takes extremely good care of his family when we fall sick. Barring my cooking and cockroach-killing inabilities, my dad and I are alike on many levels. We are both introverts, short-tempered (particularly at each other, it seems), and masters at nua-ing (aka doing absolutely nothing but watch action/horror movies or wildlife documentaries for hours on end). Also, I recently discovered that my two greatest passions – music and animals – actually stem from him. This makes me inexplicably happy!”
On the most important thing she’s learnt from him: “Love is about giving, not taking. Like my mum, he silently gives and gives and gives, never once complaining or expecting anything in return – which makes me all the more appreciative of the things he does for his family.”
About The Author: A founder of Material World, Tan Lili has previously worked in magazines The Singapore Women’s Weekly and Cosmopolitan Singapore, as well as herworld.com (now herworldplus.com, the online counterpart of Her World). She is now a freelance writer who works on this website full-time. Lili hopes to travel the world, work with wild animals, and discover more awesome Twilight fan-fiction. Follow her on Twitter @TanLiliTweets.
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