I think that in every man’s life, there is a period in which he is obsessed with caps, if you did not get to this stage, I think it’s weird. The disclaimer is,this obsession was real before Bluetooth device ,social media and gadgets became the spoilers. My family tends to make me realize that caps are a man’s thing.
I grew up seeing my father’s own obsession with his caps and actually there is a time whereby he had caps that had been pinned around our house, well, the house wasn’t that big but being a seven-year-old, this would make me marvel. In this period, he actually would not allow my mum wash his caps, he trusted her alright but not with these. I mean he was so much into caps that we could even tell what his mood is based on the cap that he puts on. I knew how far to go on asking for favours depending on the cap he wore. Sadly he outgrew them or maybe they did outgrow him, he figured that one or two caps wouldn’t hurt after all.
Then we have my uncle, he is the kind that would wear his caps to match the occasion, for ruracios you would spot him with those big god papas, he says they make him look serious during the negotiations, he tilts it in the front so that eyes do not meet (something happens when eyes meet, even in serious negotiations, so he avoids eye contact). He has earned a name for this particular kind of style, his god papa. I think you should come prepared for this uncle.
I also have a cousin, (I pray he won’t get to reading this) he wears his cap the way he wears his shoes, by this I mean from the time he gets out of bed to the time he gets back to it, he has a cap on him, he usually wears the kind that people say are for touts and PSV drivers, these he wears because of a very big scar he has on his forehead, he got it when he was fighting for the love of his life, we are hopeless romantics in our families, from my father’s side of course. My mum’s side will tell you that love cannot be eaten, so I sort of have mixed genes, at times I would say love is all that we need and other times I would tell you we cannot eat love, it all depends on the foot I wake up with.
For this very reason, I cannot actually tell fatherhood and caps apart, they’re like two side of a coin in my eyes. Starting from the obsession that a young man has for his cap, to buying his very first cap just to show off, to the time he puts it on for protection from the scorching sun, to the time that he has to pay the prize in terms of care, to the when he puts it on to hide the fact that he is balding to the very results -the very serious negotiations of giving away his daughter to another man or taking in a daughter in law. A cap is like a man’s best friend, well and a dog too.
Being a father is not just being some kind of a baby daddy that goes all over the village bragging how many children he has fathered to his peers, it requires giving your life, care, attention and sweat to another human being. It is not just claiming dowry when they are all grown and never knowing what they ate to get to that point, it is not a role to be delegated to the mother; fatherhood is a DIY-Do It Yourself- kind of thing. It’s a blueprint for our baby girl for the kind of man she should go for and a roadmap for the young boy towards manhood. You are that significant.
I wouldn’t want you to be all involved in the life of the kids when they are little and angelic and throw in the towel during their puberty when they are all moody and messed up the same way my daddy gave up on his caps with time. I would want you to be involved from the time the scribble their first letter to the time they teach their kids to do the same, because your success is when your successor-our children- succeeds.
Closing my eyes and envisioning the simultaneity of your role makes me whisper a prayer to our Father, the fact that at one point you will be required to discipline and affirm, love and rebuke, joke and be serious. The very fact that they crave your attention more than anything else, that our little girl wants your eyes and attention on her, to tell her that she is beautiful in that purple dress and the young man tries to swing on your hands to see if you can still carry him up. Darling, there’s no room for one cap to overstay on your head. Your flexibility is mandatory, and your anger shouldn’t overstay. Your love should be known and your presence felt.
Most people I have come across have daddy issues, from a father that wasn’t at home, to the one that was too harsh, to the one that never provided and the one that never actually kept his word. I tend to think that it wasn’t so from the beginning, there was a point in their lives when these people actually adored their fathers, they saw them as their knight in shining armour, a time when they couldn’t be separated. Then with time they saw the armour rusting, maybe he wasn’t smiling when they showed him their result slip or when the boy said that he scored a goal in school or when the girl came and reported that she could actually recite the memory verse their Sunday school teacher gave them, it could be it faded when they saw him throwing tantrums at mommy and leaving her with tears. Maybe it happened when they started feeling as if they’re being replaced with the newspaper, or the phone or even the remote.
I am also to blame because I tend to make you look like an evil man who watches in silence and waits for them to go wrong so that you may punish them. The way I keep on telling them that I will tell on them to you when they do wrong, the fact that I want you to always do the disciplining while I do all the applauding. I know it is wrong, that we should learn how to sandwich love in the disciplines, that we should learn how to show your good side often as well, that you can sit down with them without mommy reporting to you about who broke what so that when we introduce them to Him as Our Father, they would not dread Him or run away but rather they would run to Him because they can relate Him to their loving earthly father.
They say men are of few words, I do not know that so I would let it rest. However, I do pray that in those few words, there would be the words, “This is my beloved child, and I am proud of him,”, that you would verbally tell them this as often as possible because in as much as I would tell them that, I do know that they crave for those words from you more than from me, I guess it’s because they will always hear them from me even in the most insignificant achievements.
We cannot protect them from the “heat” of life and you will not always have your best foot forward, but we can create an environment for them which tells them boldly that they are loved for who they are and not what they do, that even with your armour fading away, they still know that daddy is proud of them. May they never get to where they will say that they were under-fathered or un-fathered.
You may get overwhelmed with stuff, want to cave in and forget to put on a cap, you may at times feel lazy to put any one on you or even feel like you’re not up for the task. Be that as it may, may these three caps always be within reach, the cap of professing your pride and love for our children, the cap of protecting them from life’s harm and that one of providing for them in cash and kind babe. And I will be by your side, together with Him, and the chord of family will not be easily broken. Thus the fulfilment of His promise that He would turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers…
HAPPY FATHERS’ DAY.