Monday, June 29, 2009 at Monday, June 29, 2009 | 0 comments
Even if it's a fact that we will all eventually kick the bucket, hearing the news that Michael Jackson had just died still blew my mind off. He had left no trace of sickness. Nor had he given hints of physical deterioration, except of course the natural effects of aging, which the King of Pop was said to be afraid of. He just suddenly ceased breathing, and before anybody could give any idea what was going on, he died. At 50, with a teen body that executed lots of crotch-grabbing, moonwalking dance moves, and a child-like facade which caused him more troubles than praise, he suddenly went away, without a warning, to the place where, who knows, someone might finally come to understand him...

Last Sunday was Father's Day. People around me were asking how I, a first time father, would celebrate it. Honestly, I don't even know if it's really time to celebrate my being a father. My only fame to claim at the moment is that I do have a child. I don't want to believe that it's what makes me a man. Because if it's so, what makes me different from any other guys who think having children is the way of macho?

Back in the days, I had this anxiety about something a normal guy my age wouldn't waste time worrying about; that is, how to raise a child. I've seen lots of men losing themselves in failed marriages, financial mess and earthly vices. The result was almost always the same: a broken family. And then, relationships falter, wither like dry leaves. How can these things stop man from becoming a good father, or any other relationship for that matter, when becoming one doesn't depend on such things? I wonder.

Then again, I'm still a novice when it comes to this field of life. I have never been there. I can't compare my months of becoming a father to the decades of ups and down that many parents have been through. I still have a long way to go to say I've finally done what I had and wanted to do. But right now, thinking of what might go wrong torments my head already. What would become of my child a couple of years from now is still a question mark that would continue to chase me and my wife.

I thank my father for raising me to become the person I am today. If there are role models to emulate, my father should come first and be placed on top of my list. He may not be the “coolest” dad who knows the ways of his son's generation, but he has had his share of being the best when everything else is going bad. Of course, having been a teen like anybody else, I had my own stories of rebelling against something which I thought I understood. We had our times when we were soaked in idealism, when we wanted to correct which we deemed were wrong, when we thought nobody had any idea what we were going through. I thought I had surpassed the knowledge of the preceding generation. Instead of immediately swatting my beliefs and bombarding me with the usual preach, he would exercise his usual passiveness, much to my embarrassment. He would say a word or two about what he believes is right, but wouldn't nag me to do this or that. He would continue doing his fatherly obligation, going on to give the best part of him through our needs. And suddenly I'd just ask myself if my know-it-all attitude warranted any recognition at all. I'd been lazy and all while my father threads through life to give us what we need to become good persons in this world. Seeing my father's sagging skin, his thinning hair, his wrinkled face while eating dinner with my mother---and sometimes, alone---I wish I could have been more worthy a son to him.

I realize that I'm a part of the cycle of fatherhood. Once a son, I'm now a father. I now worry about what might happen to child in the years to come, perhaps the way my father worried about me many years ago. I know that a large chunk of what he will become lies in my hand. I could only wish to provide my child everything he needs and to teach him what he needs to learn. Having a child won't make me a real man; raising one will. But I guess until I am able to see my son becoming a grown man, a responsible citizen and a loving husband to his wife---will I tell myself that, finally, I am a real father.

Just like my father.
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