I’m not really close with my dad. We don’t have the same relationship most fathers and sons have in books and movies… well, maybe on TV like Homer and Bart (The Simpsons) minus the choking or Peter and Chris (Family Guy) minus the fun.
The truth is, my dad and I don’t really have much anything in common.
When I was still in grade school it was my dad who’d pick me up at school. He’d bring me to Jollibee and buy me a Kiddie Meal. I’d sit at one of the tables and watch him fall in line. He knew what I wanted even without asking. He knew me so well but I knew nothing about him. Yeah, I know what his job was or his family background but I never seem to fully comprehend what kind of a man he was. And there I was sitting, waiting for him to come back with my Kiddie Meal and toy. We’d sit there in silence. I’d finish eating my meal and then we’d leave – without uttering a single word to each other. He never asked me questions about school. Never asked whether I was doing great or flunking my subjects. It was not his duty I guess. It was my mom who asked those questions.
I studied hard as a kid and it was my mom who’d push me to study even harder. She’d stay up late to review me on my exams. She was the disciplinarian, the one who spanked me when I did something bad or slapped me when I answered back. This rarely happened though but when it did, it hurt. My dad would stay out of it though. He never laid hands on me, never spanked me or slapped me hard in the face. We never fought and our arguments never really lasted long enough for me to bear any grudge.
My dad is good with numbers – he’s an engineer for pete’s sake and me? I’m bad at it. His attempts to teach me algebra when I was a high school freshman didn’t help me at all. I almost failed but I can’t really blame. Math was never kind to me.
We never really bonded the way most fathers and sons did in the movies. He’s not athletic so we don’t play sports together. We didn’t play hoops or catch but we’d religiously watch PBA on TV and root for our team Ginebra – back when Jaworski was big in the league with Jarencio, Aquino, and David. But looking back, there was really nothing much else we shared.
He never talked about the birds and bees nor shared his collection of dirty magazines, which I don’t think he ever had. He never talked to me about girls even though he was the one who had extra marital affairs. I know because my mom showed me the pictures of my dad with his #2.
Maybe he didn’t want me to grow up like him or follow in his footsteps. Maybe he was protecting me from himself. Or maybe he just wasn’t the kind of father that movies show –they’re not all the same I guess.
Anyway, if there’s one thing my dad and I both love it’s tennis. We’d sit on the couch side by side and watch all the grandslams for hours. Even if he’s on Nadal’s side and I’m on Federer’s we still enjoy each game just the same.
I’m not really close with my dad but I love him just the same. We may not have the same relationship like most fathers and sons have in the movies but what we have is a special bond that only the two of us understands. We are both men now and we may not be as affectionate with each other or express our love for each other like most people do, we know for a fact that we’re forever bound by blood and that’s what’s important.
I consider myself lucky to father who loves me for what I am and understands what I want to become.