Fatherhood 101: But I Choose You

Four years ago, I got a call that paved the way for the biggest unpopular choice that I made in my life. It was then that I was informed of you.

I was torn between two equally important options – to be a husband or to be a father. It was a difficult decision especially that my then fiancée was not the same person as the one that carried you in her womb.

But I choose you.

Back then the shadows of regret attempted to haunt me. I was thinking how wasteful my decision to shun and shelve in marrying a brilliant and beautiful lawyer. It was a choice that made me a “persona non grata” to the heart of her who look up to me as the love of her life.

But I choose you.

But it was a choice that redraws the blueprint of my dreams. You accorded me to experience the noble role of fatherhood – how demanding it can be, but how rewarding it can become.

You taught me the value of smile, your smile. For decades, I have accepted the fact that the toil and gruel of my profession would always be coupled with pressure and demands that would wring out the best of me.

Your smile and hug healed my workaholic infection, untangled my life’s complex needs into simplicity, and disarmed the array of my personal hedges against the brawling demands of humanity.

It is because I choose you.

Four years ago, I decided to be a Dad to you. The last four years you ended my four decades of miseries, heartaches, and frustration. You taught me to stop the chase in life and instead focus on the value of our time together.

I stopped chasing my dreams; instead, I started building yours. I stopped chasing ladies; instead, I orchestrated my efforts to be the best Dad for you. I stopped chasing after-office parties; instead, I rushed home to cuddle you until sleep would catch us up.

Back then, I was afraid of becoming a father. But then you taught me to be brave.

Fast forward four years, I really don’t know if I performed well as your Dad. But seeing you running towards me every time we see each other, arguing with me in your fluent English or Chinese on your thoughts on things, and seeing my arms as your songs of lullabies, I think I did better.

Oh, how your innocence changed a strongman as I am, and how my decision to have you led me to the best days of my life.

If in all impossibility fate would allow me to repeat the times of my life, still, I will choose to be your Dad over and over again. Because you are not a mistake. It is you that orchestrated for my broken parts to come together and to be brave to start again, fight again, and win again.

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