So today my mother made a complaint about how the washing machine needed some “filter” or the other cleaned, further accusing my dad to have at once upon a time cleaned said filter. He, of course, recalled nothing of the sort. At the time I heard of this, my father was asleep, and so my brother and I went on ahead and began our conquest to fix the issue, like real men should, without waiting for backup by my father (also like real men should).
We had no idea what we were doing. We began unscrewing stuff, based on the description of the mysterious filter from my mother, and had almost taken the entire backing out before my father arrived. With all hands on deck, we didn’t quite take the back out, but upon inspection, no filter was to be found. And so, we pretty much wasted our time trying so hard to fix something without any directions, instructions or anything of that sort; just wits, tools and muscle.
Like real men.
Why was this story significant, you ask? The entire experience reminded me much of when I was younger; standing around staring at my father working in between his barks of “ting dis ting” or “hand me da ting dey” and somehow understanding exactly what he meant. Oh yes! My favourite; “DROP YOUR HAND!” was one that always annoyed the heck out of me. It was different, on this occasion, for it felt no longer as if it was I merely tagging along as a child with his father, but us putting our wits, tools and muscle together as men of equal strength to achieve a common goal. And that was strange for me, for I haven’t much seen myself as working alongside him, but rather being slave driven to work for him.
My father and I were never the best of friends, and even now, I don’t really talk to him that much, more for the fact that our schedules don’t match than anything else. It always felt as things were his way or no way at all. I felt as if his favourite tool was the hammer, because when things won’t fit in the way he’d want it to he’d whip it out and bang it right into place, instead of trying to align things the way it should be. Don’t get me wrong, he made it work, which was an admirable feat in itself, but the brute force he often placed on the situations around him often left bruises in places that found it hard to simply ignore.
He didn’t always make the best decisions, and often held on to money so much that work was harder and the reward not satisfying, but he tries his best to make what we have work. Sometimes, he would respond in a manner to suggest that he felt as if he knew everything, which would REALLY get on my nerves, and the one thing that he did the most that made me absolutely furious was believe that I was obsessed with video games. I know, it sounds so trivial, but it felt as if he infringed on my identity. As if he knew who I was, and that he was placing his stamp of disapproval on me. Mind you, back then I loved my video games very much, but I was never obsessed with them. The amount of restraint that was placed on me because of this belief most likely further concreted this statement in his mind since I would sneak around to play often, but it was more my lack of anything to do (other than study) and immense boredom that pushed me over the edge.
And playing games with that adrenaline rush? Priceless 😉
All in all, he is a great and honourable man, and despite never having seen eye to eye with him in my younger days, I love and appreciate all that he has done for me and continues to do even to this day. I am who I am because of his inputs into my life (whether I liked them or not) and God found it necessary to place him in my life. And so even now, forgetting and forgiving the past, we press on to future labours, hearts mended and ready for anything.
Like real men 🙂