When I knew nothing about brothers and sisters coming from the same womb, I thought he and Archie Moroka of the South African drama series Generations were brothers; and I would brag about it all the time. After all, they had the same moustache design as well as similar facial profiles- He is the perfect definition of tall, light and handsome, my dad. I know what you are thinking, a side to side photo of he and Achie to prove it? Forget it.
He is a lot of things, and from that basketful, you’ll find things such as clean freak, disciplinarian, model, shoe freak, eeerm, what do you call men fashionistas?Yes, tempered, great cook, father, husband, friend etc etc. Like every parent on planet earth, he was always number one, favourite subject Mathematics. I have bitter- sweet childhood memories I’d rather not get into today, but it was worth living in that era with him as my dad. Definitely!
I recently entered a beauty pageant, “Miss Plus Kenya” that seeks to encourage plus size women to love themselves as they are, boost their self esteem and live a rich healthy lifestyle. A win, offers a chance to be in the leading pack, creating awareness on diabetes and making Kenya a diabetes free zone. Purpose. It is quite exciting! When I told my dad that I was participating in this, he quipped “Utashinda lini?”(When do you get to be crowned?) For him, its not a matter of ‘if’ its when the win happens. I get pleasantly surprised when he calls to ask, “sasa mmebaki wangapi?”(How many of you are left?) and one thing he always says…”Utashinda tuuuuu. What love! He will get a front row seat in the finals, best believe! and I already see him proudly declaring “This is my daughter!” no matter the outcome.
As years go by, I think dads start realizing their little girls growing up is not necessarily a good thing. Sometimes, boys and men will flock the house and they will not use the ‘can I borrow the science book or we have group work’ excuse. The once clingy little girl will see daddy as being up in her space-too much. At some point, dad will not be the ‘to go to person’. Its a competition! He can’t choose her skirts for her any more. No pet names, ok maybe a little when she’s not with her grown up friends. Then she will grow up some more, and move out. University degree in the bag. Daddy’s proud.
I still got my daddy…am still daddy’s girl, he’s still my No.1 man. This valentines, I send out all the love in the world to all dads who think they have lost or are loosing their daughters; to distance or to the other man. The one whom he gave her to that sunny morning at the end of the aisle. To trust that this man will look after her, like he did. Secretly wishing that he won’t outdo him, but in the same breath hoping that she will be the happiest she’s ever been.
You are not losing her. You have not lost her. In times when being all grown up is cliche, you are the only one who can entertain her child-like tendencies…you are her father after all. No one can quite describe her first day on earth like you can. How proud you felt with that first step, word and everything else she accomplished after that. Deep down, even she knows that you are forever…in heart, spirit, love.
In your daughter’s eyes…