There are two posts that have been circulating on social media lately. The posts touch on the subject of paternity and as the learner that I am, I tried to distill the nuggets from the posts. One of the posts listed songs composed over the years to eulogise mothers. It seems pretty hard to lay hold on songs in honour of fathers, if they exist, they are scarce. Appalling, however, is the fact that majority of the composers of those songs were men, so, it wasn’t a case of ojoro!
The second post, not written in the hilarious manner the other was done, dived straight to the point. It chronicled the relationships between parents and their children as they grow and explained why at later years, children seem to be more interested in taking care of their mothers than their fathers.
The two posts were eye openers for me, they show an area where fathers, over the ages, have been failing – connecting with their children. I know that it’s easier for women to show their love side to their children, men are the ones who mask that side with macho. No doubt, fathers love their kids just as much as the mothers, the problem, however, lies in the expression of that love.
And while thinking on the topic of paternity, here is what I found out – that today’s dads, more than those before them, are fully aware that being a father is more that just donating DNA, nevertheless, they fail to clearly express their love to their child(ren). I also found out that many men in their bid to show love to their kids bury themselves in work and career to make ends meet and give their children a better life than they had growing up, failing to realize that this doesn’t count much in children’s love meter. The only other aspect many dads get involved in their kids’ upbringing is in instilling discipline, something that makes them seem like the scary bogeyman.
Son, I have always desired to be your first best friend. I know with time, you’d choose one of your peers as a best friend, but I hope to always give that person a run for the title. I know that won’t come easy, as one of the songs in vogue puts it – enu o se. But I am determined. It’s why I do what I do – deliberately making sure I’m involved in your total upbringing.
And it’s amazing that you have begun to acknowledge my little efforts. I love that your first word was da da; I love that you got around to not just calling daddy before you clocked one, but that you also made a song out of it; I love that you sometimes cry when I’m leaving the house; I love how you reject to be carried by others when I’m carrying you; I love the smiles you give me when you see me; I love that you encourage me to be the kind of dad I always wanted to be; and I love that you urge me on.
Your mum knows that I desire a blissful relationship with you, I have never hidden it. I love a sweet father-son relationship, it is one to fight for, not as a competition with your mum though. I know you love her too and I am not jealous, just as I also love her dearly. There is so much love to share without competing. My desire is to epitomise the love God has for his children – being our provider, our guardian, yet our chastiser. I hope, that I provide a good mirror for you to see God and that I make it easy for you to find Him.
Your one year birthday is many celebrations rolled into one, one of which is celebrating my one year of fatherhood, which has been dope. Your mum says the work just began, and I perfectly agree with her. I am not resting on my oars, I will build on the good thing we got going.
My father says one’s first child is like a sibling. So, here’s wishing a happy birthday to my son, brother and friend, Obafunto Samuel, God’s favorite son.
I am ‘Seun Alade