Conversations with Daddy

Enjoying a special Daddy-Son moment.
"Daddy, do you know what happened at art class today?" The 4-year-old boy tugged earnestly at my arm as I was hammering away at my laptop one Wednesday afternoon.

"Oh? What happened?" I turned away from my laptop and looked at him attentively.

"I drew a lion."

"That's nice," I smiled. "Was it difficult?"

"Yes," he nodded solemnly.

"What's his name?" 


"Oh? Not Simba?" (We had recently watched the animation classic The Lion King).

"No," the boy said firmly. "His name is Leo."

"That's a nice name!" I said. 

I looked at the little boy. His eyes were sparkling with excitement. 

"Can I see Leo please?"

As the child scurried away to fetch his artwork, I could sense a certain tempo in his steps.

"Daddy..." said the boy as he presented his drawing to me.

My eyes lit up as I saw what my son had drawn.

"Wow! Z this is really beautiful! Daddy likes it very much!"

And the young boy scampered away, evidently pleased at Daddy's response to his drawing. 
"Leo" the Lion.
I can't quite remember when; but it seems that both Sue and I have been having many meaningful conversations with our little son recently. Just the other day I was surprised to hear what Z was thinking about nature. 

This is the Facebook update I posted about the incident:

Z: Mummy, can we go to a forest tomorrow?
Mummy: You want to go to a forest?
Z: Yes, I want to see the sunlight shine through the leaves. 
Daddy: Sure, Z. Let's go to the forest!
You can't help smiling when your son communicates his love for nature in such a poetic manner 
Daddy & Z take a walk in the Australian forest.
And on another occasion, we were talking about what makes up a "family". 

Daddy: Z, you look very sad. Is there anything wrong?
Z: The other brother is not here.
Daddy: Yes, we are going for a show and Didi cannot come. 
Z: So sad, not all the family is here.
Daddy: Oh?
Z: Daddy, Mummy, Z and E. We are family.
"We are family". Take during the boys' birthday celebration this year.
There are times when you look at your 4-year-old son and cannot imagine how much he has grown. Looking back, you remember the days when all he could do was to look at you and cry. Then there were those precious moments when he uttered his first words, and you would get out your little notebook and record all the things that he could say. Today, you look at your son and marvel at the words that come out of his lips.

My heart is warmed every time I hear my little boy say something unexpected. As a father, nothing can take the place of those special father-son moments. These can occur in the most ordinary of situations - in the car on the way home, in the room while putting him to bed, or even while taking him for a one-to-one walk in the park.

I'm thinking of all the fathers in the world, and wondering how many of them actually spend such precious time with their sons. It reminds me of an excerpt of the book that I'm hoping to publish someday:

Little boys in their handsome concert clothes wait anxiously for their fathers to attend their performances; young girls dressed to their nines sit in eager anticipation for their fathers to take them to the movies.

They wait in vain.

For fathers are more concerned about their work; more concerned about their golf; more concerned about the Things That Matter. And fathers believe that once they have achieved all that is important, that they can then spend time with their loved ones.

I'm hoping this blog post will encourage and inspire fathers around the world to do something different with their children. And it doesn't take much; just spending time and walking with them through their own little journeys.

For me, those precious conversations mean everything. I want to be there for my sons to witness every moment of their lives. I want to talk to them about what makes them happy; I want to talk to them about what makes them sad. And I want to talk to them even during the times when they have no words to say. For that surely is the role of a father - to always be there for their children come what may.

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