“Mothers give their sons permission to be a prince but the father must show him how…”I am a prince, and my father's the king and it was his birthday yesterday.
It was tatay's 52nd birthday yesterday. Last day also was the first time I greeted him heart-fully and spoken to him the words, I love you and thank you but was not emotional. Yes, I have never been that expressive and open to him since the end of his dictatorship – last year, I received self-declared freedom and signed a mutual treaty with him that both would raise a white flag and surrender our armaments.
It was an absolute relief having revived the healthy relationship with him but I am also missing the silent and strategic battle we fought against each other. Funny but that was how we dealt with each other over the past years. He had almost always opposed my ideas and my philosophies never ceased to contrast with his. We seldom meet in the center and agree for one thing –save, maybe food preference.
Now that I am far from home, I am starting to miss our wordless and indirect conversation, testing each other to submit and surrender. This is the exciting part in playing with my tatay's game of schemes and tactics. He had been trying to make me give up, but it was a futile attempt for I am as strong and stubborn as him that I would hardly be defeated. In fact when I was in my third year in college, we have never talked to each other for almost two years even though both of us were staying in the same roof, eating in the same table, and seeing each other every day. When one needs something to other (vice versa), it has to be channeled through nanay, my mother, the mediator. When I need allowance, I run to nanay and she'll get it to father. And when my tatay needs to address or preach things on me, he would get drunk with his friends and before he gets to sleeps, he would start his lectures and sentiments while I just sleep and let every word go in and out of my ears.
Yeah, I know I am bad and so he is. But hey, never mistake that this is deep-in-the-heart war between us. Perhaps maybe this is just our way of expressing and showing how we love each other. My tatay had has all my respect though we deal with each other this way. Possibly he is just overdoing his being a bank manager at home and I am just practicing being an authoritative leader to him which is the-not-me in school. The combination in home that will never work for peace if both continue to be those characters.
If not because of him, I might not be what and where I am now. But don't be mistaken I did not surrender yet and I just lowered my guards. We just became more friends.
So he is the king, and I will take what he has given me and grow with it. I am acknowledging his importance, is a fact I must surrender to.
Now, I understand why our relationship with our fathers will inevitably be vital in shaping our characters, much more our life. Many of us may have pains and resentments in this kind of relationship and we may have wanted more than what they gave us, or longed for praises, or have the assurance that we measured up with their expectations; we might come in conflict with them and their ideals, but they do not necessarily want to dictate or impose over our lives. They just want us to be the kings of our life.
Well, I am changing this relationship not by asking him to be different but by being mature and responsible enough to take his lessons for me. This became a new doorway of me for I know that soon I'll be a father of a child/ren whom I'll be nurturing, loving, and caring.
Happy Birthday, tay.