Today is Father’s day. What does that mean? I’m sure its a day created by mzungus to celebrate dads. How they picked June 18th, I don’t know. I’ve just realised I somewhat pre-empted this day with my article last week on my girl’s birthday. And she did not disappoint this morning when she wished me happy Father”s day. It could easily fit into this day. Anyhow I didn’t even know it was fathers day today. I became aware of it through a message from a pal this morning as we prepared to go to church.
I’ve been in a reflective mood today as I read the usual shared messages on whatsApp. A lot has been said today appreciating dads but it seems we are usually the least appreciated lot in society. I say that based on how good the attention felt, from church, family and friends. It felt like I had won SportPesa lottery.
One of the shared messages today was that- any man can be a father. It takes someone special to be a dad. Being a dad today is serious kibarua. Men seem to be striving to get to this place that is so elusive. Many a time I’ve woken up (especially in this 40 phase) and felt so ill equipped to perform as a dad and family man. As I fight my own demons of confusion and looking for significance, life reminds me that I can’t take a break from being dad, husband, business owner and all other responsibilities I carry.
I have to navigate this crossroads of my life while carrying all this roles. I’m expected to continue coming through for them fully as I fight my personal battles. It’s like walking through a field full of landmines carrying eggs. If I mistakenly step on a land mine sisi kwisha. No room for errors. Its a do or die situation. That’s how I feel like being a father on 4th floor. Pressure nayo.
Pope Francis said,” guidance does not come from a father who is weak, yielding and a softie” (another whatsApp message shared today). Translation in Swahili could be the famous quote, kuzaa sio kazi, kulea ndio kazi.
Juzi i came home jioni from the grind and found our shoes arranged by the door. That sight reminded me of the load of responsibility that I carry as the head of my home and father. I got this sense of inadequacy that led to a panic attack which I quickly internalized. Somehow pre 40 I was on autopilot on daddy things and didn’t give it too much thought. 40 has made me aware of my shortcomings and now the fear of failure is real. I’m terribly scared of letting my gang down. For the first time I’m questioning, do I have what it takes?
I make silent prayers constantly asking God to please cover me and help me succeed. I hold my baby girl (who I titled the pride of my estate last year when she was born) and her mapengo drooling smile melts my heart with affection and freaks me out at the same time. I find myself talking to her, asking her to pray for daddy. I believe God doesn’t have call waiting for babies prayers as they are so pure. He can’t be mteja on my tiny baby shark.
Despite all this roller coaster of emotion today, I felt so privileged being a dad to three awesome Kenyans. It’s a job I would do anything to keep (even though I feel like I don’t qualify). It’s a hard job with few accolades, has no training manual or rehearsal but I’m loving it totally. In fact it defines who I am to a great extent.
So I have concluded that i will try to be a happy father most of the time so that I can have a happy family and community around me. And for happy Father’s day to be more of a norm than a one day affair, I will need divine help for that. As they say in courts of law raising the bible, so help me God.
To all my fellow fathers especially those around halftime, we can do this.
Happy Father’s day .