Dad. Daddy. Papa.
Today is father’s day. And there is no better way for him to show his love other than working hard and providing for my education so that I’m exactly 11,647km away from him on this special day. I only wish that on this day, especially being on a Sunday, he is able to feel special and loved even from afar.
I didn’t think that I’d get too emotional writing this post, but even just searching for the distance between him and I, that weird feeling you get inside you where your nose starts to burn, and your eyes start to water…
Well, that happened.
My parents are wonderful people. But specifically today, I’ll tell the stories of the superman in my life. My dad.
I was always quite the cry-baby when I was younger. Prod me a little harder and I bruise, like a ripe tomato. But my father always protected me, and here I present…
The schoolbus incident
There once was a little girl who took the school bus to school every morning. Me. She always sat obediently and quietly, but this peace was often disrupted by a great villain. The bully. He would say nasty words to her, and she would try with all her might to cover her ears and imagine herself someplace nice. But the nasty words would slip through the cracks between her fingers and slowly force tears to leak from her eyes.
Dad the superman heard about this and was not happy. ‘I must do something to save this little girl’ he said. So he marched up to the school bus one day, each step caused the earth beneath his feet to shake. He walked up to the bully and with a mighty voice, he said: ‘That’s not very nice. Leave my daughter alone.’ The bully trembled and from that day on, never dared show his face again.
— The end. —
Okay, so maybe the actual story wasn’t as dramatic as that, but from based on a similar story told many times, I’m sure my Dad the SuperMan was pretty menacing and scary.
But I’ll let you in on a secret. My dad is a total softy when it comes to being caring. On the outside, he has a shell impenetrable as a bullet proof vest, but on the inside, he’s full of mushy love and feelings.
When we were younger, each time my dad had gone on a business trip when we were little, he would be welcomed back with three young children running into his arms followed with the words ‘Where is my present?’. Although tired and jet-lagged, he would never refuse to reply with a smile and say ‘Close your eyes and hold out your hands’. To which the three little children would line up. Eyes closed. Hands out. Into each hand would fall a gift that not only brought happiness, but was a symbol of us being thought of whilst he was many miles away.
Now, even though these toys often sit in the attic along with all our old photos and school uniforms, they had sat on the small gap between the top of the sofa and the wall, guarding us as we grew up in a small apartment in Hong Kong, reminding us of a familiar presence as Dad the SuperMan worked till late hours.
After we moved to Shanghai, he became Dad the SuperChef.
I hate lamb.
Why is that relevant?
Well, the only lamb I ever eat are the lamb chops my dad makes.
Most Sunday evenings, my brother and I would busily run around the kitchen, chopping this, chopping that, occasionally buttering some garlic bread. In the mean time, my dad cooks up a three course meal, pumpkin soup, lamb chops, clay pot rice, curry chicken, … the list can go on. Yet when we sit down as a family to enjoy the meal, he credits us for our mastery cooking skills demonstrated in the small cup of carrot and celery sticks that lay amongst the feast.
I’d like to think we labours away to make these dinners only to see our smiley joyous faces as we proudly thank him, knowing we only pretended to help.
I can talk about all the times he gave up having fun just to photograph us having fun. I can talk about all the times he fell asleep on our sofa after a long day out cycling in the sun making sure we didn’t get run over. Or instead, I can talk about all the times he was almost run over when trying to take a selfie of us cycling together.
This post can go on for a long while, but I’ll save some other heroic stories for the future. I can only hope to say that the gratefulness and love I have for my father can be felt through these small meaningless stories. Because my love for my dad cannot be expressed in words.
I can’t say thank you enough times to truly show my appreciation for all that you’ve done for me. To support me. To protect me. and most importantly to love me. I can only hope to repay the favour by continuing to work hard and be someone you can be proud of.
Happy Father’s Day.
Your little girl forever.