Ted’s son looked up from underneath the covers and caught a glimpse of them in the radiance of the sun rays that gently smote their faces as they kissed. He was too scared to nap on his bed the previous night. When he heard movements from the living room, he got out of bed and was on his heels. He kicked his parent’s bedroom door and jumped on their bed and as the scared boy he was, he hid under the covers and in seconds, he was snoring.
Everyone desires to have the ‘perfect’ family but we don’t get to choose the families we are born in. Imagine if we could make such a choice?
Some parents wouldn’t have some children and children wouldn’t have some siblings. Some parents would go for kids who make it in life. The go-getters who hack it in life. And kids would go for parents who have made it in life so that they are born with a silver spoon in their mouths. But because no one gets to ever choose, we live with what destiny had for us.
If Ted were to ever choose his family, he wouldn’t change a thing to have a better man for a father. All his childhood life, the man he knew to be his father was never a father in every sense of the word. He was a man who he and his siblings only knew for a short while before he took off with another woman and deserted them. So as Ted grew up, the easiest answer he gave to anyone who asked about his dad was that he had died while he was still young.
Ted watched in pain as some of his friend’s fathers showed up for their soccer games in school. After every game, he would be the first person out of the pitch. He couldn’t stand the father-son moments his friends enjoyed. So he ran so that no one could see his torn heart. He didn’t want anyone especially his friends to see his sad, tearful eyes.
Ted had since his school years been running. Running away from anything that reminded him of what he never had as he grew up.
One day while in college, he swore to be everything his father wasn’t- present, loving and caring for his family.
A few years after college, Ted met a woman he dearly loved and they got married after a year of dating. That day he received the news that they were expecting their first child, Ted knew that his time had come. There was no time for ifs or buts, it was time to step it up.
The day his son was born was the most redefining moment for Ted. He knew everything his son needed to know or learn had to come from him, his father. It would be the little and big things he did that would matter; how he treated his mother, how he disciplined him and most importantly how he would raise him up. He wanted him to be a better man than him.
Ted’s son grew up observing his father. He watched him as he kissed his mother every morning before leaving for work. He saw the flowers he would bring her from time to time. Ted was nothing like his father and that’s what he wanted for his son, the best.
Now a father himself, Ted’s son is walking in his father’s footsteps. His son is now five years old. Each morning his son kisses his mother on the forehead just like his father does. Every time he goes out to play, he picks up a flower and brings it to his mother because his father brings her flowers too.
A week ago, father and son visited Ted’s father, his son’s grandfather. As the five-year-old ran around the house, he called out for his father from the kitchen.
“Look”, the five-year-old said as he pointed to a vase on the kitchen counter. “Grandpa also brings grandma flowers just like you and I bring mum flowers.”
Ted’s son came down to his son’s level and said, “hey son, what you see me do, I have learned from your grandfather. He is the best father.”
“Then I want to be just like you.”
“No son, I want you to be better than me.”