[I know I did D for Drabble yesterday, but that was cheating, because I wasn't supposed to blog on Sundays. Here is the real post for D]
Born when my father was 37, I was always Daddy's Darling Daughter.
Special moments? There were never any special moments with him! He gave himself so completely to me, that every moment that should have been special, was only just another ordinary moment.
When I was still a baby, he would hoist me on his shoulders, and take me on long walks pointing out things for me to see. Everyday, he would indentify the flowers in the garden, and encourage me to smell them, and rub my fingers over their petals- no wonder, therefore, I knew the botanical names of most flowers long before my fifth birthday. At night, he would read to me- works of fiction, and passages from the encyclopedia.
When I was in primary school, Saturdays were my special days with him. He would take me to office and allow me to sit on his swivel chair and scribble with the blue and red pen from the pen-stand on his desk. When he visited the concentrator plant, he would let me tag along behind him, and would watch patiently while the metallurgical engineer told me how they went about extracting the metal. Once, when he went to inspect an abandoned mine, he took me along, even though he knew the mountain was too steep for my ten year old feet, and that he would have to carry me most of the way.
When I became a teenager, I never felt the need for a boyfriend, because I had my father. We would watch his favourite Westerns together, and he would take me to museums and art galleries. I would often surprise him by dropping in at his office, and he would treat me to dosas at his favourite diner. In all my years at school, he never missed a single Sports Day, and he often embarrassed me by clapped the loudest even when I felt I did not really deserve the applause.
When I went to college and started having a life of my own, he never held me back. He never demanded more time or attention from me than I was willing to give. Always proud of me and everything I did, he never told me, like some parents are prone to do, about how much he had done for me, and what I owned him in return.
I grew up, got a job, got married, moved away. His dementia started taking hold of him, and he sunk deeper and deeper into himself. There were times when he did not recognise me. Times when he spoke to me of “his daughter”, and asked if I had met her. But even those moments were precious, because they only showed how deeply he cared for his daughter, and how proud he was of her.
To my father, nothing was more important than being a father. His entire existence was wrapped around me, his only child, and I took that for granted. I always adored my father, but it was only when I became a parent myself that I realised how rare it was for someone to give himself so completely to another person.
A father like mine is Special. With him, even the most ordinary moment with him was Special.