Every dad expects to have a little princess. Someone that forces him to sit and have fake tea parties whilst she prances round in her fluffy dress. Just writing that makes me laugh! I couldn’t be further from that girl if I tried. You see, my dad drew the short straw and got himself a little prince!
Let me first tell you a bit more about my dad. As most of you know he’s your typical African man. Very traditional in the sense that he’s the ‘man’. What he says goes. In my schooling years I’d get teachers telling me how scared they were of him just because of how he looked at them. That was his ‘I’m being polite’ face so imagine what he’d look like when he was annoyed! Most African parents beat their children. Just the mention of a belt and you’re done. Mine however, never used any violence against me and my brother. You just got ‘the look’ and you’d know to give up! Saying that though, he’s a lovely man. One of the most caring people you’ll ever meet. When he cares about you, you just know nothing can go wrong because he’s on your side. Sadly, it took me quite a long time to see how much he actually cared about me.
Growing up was very hard especially because I had a little brother. Everything my dad expected to have in common with my brother he ended up having in common with me. From his love of athletics to music, to food, I was the child that loved it all. My brother showed no interest, especially towards sports. I think my dad found that hard and as a traditional African man he didn’t know how to deal with a daughter who wanted to take the place his son should have. I found it hard too. I took it more like he didn’t have much interest in me and no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t win his affections.
It wasn’t till the last few years I realised that I’m more similar to my dad than I ever believed. I’m basically him in a girls body and right now it freaks me out so of course he would react the same! Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love my mum, she’s an amazing woman but I have a connection with my dad I just can’t explain. He seems to know me in a way that no one else really does.
Every birthday/fathers day I’d get him a joke card saying ‘daddy’ because we both know I’ve never been that girl when truthfully I wanted to be. I spent so long fighting to be a daddy’s girl I didn’t realise I always was. Whether it’s business or guys, my dad is my first point of call. We still clash over how protective he is over me. One example, I passed my driving test more than two years ago and yet I’m still not allowed to drive on the motorway. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told to just do it and let him know after but as much as I want to I can’t. I trust his judgement but also try to show him I’m not a little girl anymore. That’s the problem I guess. I’ve always been so outgoing and confident, I’ve always been him and he’s been where I am. He’s made the mistakes I will make and I think it freaks him out. He knows I can look after myself but he also knows I need reigning in.
Looking back, if I want to be honest with myself, I wouldn’t be where I am without him. Mostly Muffins wouldn’t be where it is without him. It would be nice to hear him say he’s proud of me a little more but his guidance has been second to none. There have been a lot of people along the way that have guided me but I’m a 21 year old girl who has done more in her life than some dream to in their whole lives. If my dad hadn’t been so tough with me then I wouldn’t be the sensible hardworking person I am today. I’m extremely impatient, always have been but I wish I could go back and tell my younger self not to stress him out so much because one day I’d realise I was stressing out and missing out on quality time with one of my best friends.
To all you guys trying to grow up too fast, treasure the time you have with the people you care about. You’ll one day regret taking things for granted…