Timothy sat in his room. He held a textbook in his hands. The second volume of his Anatomy textbook. It was the biggest of the three volumes and his head was buried between the pages. Then the door to his room opened slowly with a squeak. He raised his head to see his Mum standing in the doorway.
“What are you doing?” She asked as their eyes met and held.
“I’m reading!” He replied with a slight frown.
His Mum took a few steps towards him. “Your dad is alone in the living room!” She whispered softly.
“So!” He shrugged.
She glanced over her shoulder. “So, go and keep him company.” She suggested for the umpteenth time since he’s been home for the summer holidays.
Timothy shook his head in protest. He knew what she was implying. He heaved heavily to keep himself from bursting out in anger.
“Sorry Mum,” he began with an unusually calm tone of voice. “I am really busy. I am studying!” He gestured at the book in his arms.
“It won’t take much of your time; just for a few minutes,” she flashed him a pleading smile.
“Sorry Mum! I just cant.” He said with a resolved look.
“You can’t or you won’t?” His Mum scowled angrily, the smile already wiped off her face.
“Well, I don’t have anything to discuss with him,” he replied with a forlorn look as memories of his early childhood years flooded his mind, causing his eyes to tear.
Misty-eyed, he recalled his growing up years with just his siblings and his Mum. Years when all his dad did was work, work, and work. He never made time to spend with his children. Instead, he worked 8-6, and came home only to eat, sleep and rest. That was his routine for as long as Timothy could remember. Even on public holidays he never made time for them.
His dad never built bridges, never bonded and never hung out or even played with them. All he ever did was work and provide for them; while they, his kids, needed him not only to provide for their basic needs but also spend time with them, to be there for them and bond with them; and get to know them and they him! But sadly he never had time. Or rather he never made out the time!
However, he thought providing shelter, food and money was all there was to being a daddy. Now, retired, he is lonely in a big house with his wife and kids. He longs for a relationship with his children.
A relationship he never invested his time to build. Moreover, his children are all grown; and they’ve moved on with their lives. Lives he can no longer be part of, except just to be called daddy!
Timothy felt pity for his dad. But there was nothing he could do. And even if he obliged his Mum and went to sit with his dad he wouldn’t know what to say or how to commune with him. Truth is, his dad is but a total stranger to him. He doesn’t really know the man behind the face. And his dad doesn’t really know them, except for their names.
“Sorry Mum, I cant,” he reiterated as a teardrop cascaded down his left cheek onto his textbook.
“But why?” his Mum asked in a remorseful tone of voice.
“He is just a stranger that I call daddy!” Timothy bursted into uncontrollable tears.
# building tomorrow’s leaders today!
# When Parenting is a Legacy!