by Lydia 2MD5
Recently, due to the prelim study break, I was able to do something I’ve never done before: have lunch with my dad, on a school weekday, just the two of us.
In fact, we’ve almost never done anything ‘just the two of us’. Some of you may be more close to your father, but the my reality was that growing up, I didn’t actually see him around very much. Most often he was overseas for work, which meant long stretches without his presence in the house. When he came back, it was only for a few days or so, and then it was off to the airport again. Weeks like this stretched into months, then years, for as long as I can remember.
It’s not as dramatic as I make it sound- we’re not estranged or anything, and it was a fun family when he was able to be back at home and relax with my sisters and mom too. But the circumstances didn’t allow us to have very much quality time, and I didn’t try to have any heart to hearts with him especially after it became too awkward, as a teenager.
But for the last couple of months he’s not with the job that made him live overseas anymore, separate from us. Now, he’s still working, but at least it’s in the same country, in an office somewhere near Suntec, not too far away from home. So when he suggested that I come have lunch with him during his lunch break since I was free, I sort of hesitated because it felt weird, but then: why not?
It turned out to be pretty nice. We ate some Mexican food (which he ended up disliking, but braved it through the meal), and talked a little bit about my university plans (thinking still, at this point), and his theory on what are the factors for good food. My dad has a lot of opinions. After that, we walked around and found a neat cafe where I could study. For once, not your generic Coffee Bean or Starbucks outlet bursting with stressed out students and caffeine addicts. And he did something that my mom, a more frugal person, would definitely disapprove: bought us a cake and coffee set to share. Passionfruit raspberry by the way- pink and absolutely delicious.
It was a small thing, but it touched me a lot, and it made me realize how different my two parents are, and how I have only got to know one side of my history this whole time. I think it gets way easier to kind of forget how much our parents have done for us particularly as life goes on and there seem to be mounting preoccupations. My mum has been a constant since day 1 because she was the one that was there. My dad you could say got the shorter end of the stick, having to be almost invisible, to bring the bacon home.
So that was it. He left, after drinking all the coffee (I suppose he needs it more), and kissed me goodbye. And I was left alone with my pile of Chemistry, as well as a mounting conviction to not forget him as we both grow older. To somehow, make up for all the time we have lost.