Walk a little slower daddy
Because I’m following your footsteps
Ever since I was small, I looked up to my dad. Like every other kid, he was my hero. I wanted to be like him. He was always there. He was there when I threw tantrums and refused to go to school. He was there when I called him to fetch me at school because I refused to use the school’s toilet. He was there finishing my incomplete homework early in the morning, and I went to school and got praises for it. He was there during every school break, sending me home-made food and accompanying me because I didn’t want to eat at the canteen. He was there during my very first crazed for books, bringing me to Belle’s, handing me a basket and asked me to put anything in it.
Then he got transferred. I was in primary 6.
As I grew older, I got used to him not being there. I started to view him in a different way. I started to notice his flaws. I started to see he’s only human. That he’s imperfect, and that he too, had his cons. I started to think that maybe I didn’t want to be like him after all.
Fetching him from the airport every weekend was a routine. I would accompany mum every Friday night, 7 pm flight, and send him off again every Sunday night for his 9 pm flight. I didn’t know whether it was me being me, or it’s just the way things were but I started to shut him from my life. He wasn’t there anymore. Everytime he asked about my studies or details about my life, I’d feel irked. I felt he was interfering, butting in where he shouldn’t. He was away and so he didn’t need to know. But no matter what, Dad was always being dad. He’d try to make up for what I’d missed during the weekdays, constantly trying to smooth things out as they once were. As always, that was never enough.
As time passed by, I began to understand why things were as they were. He was away because he was trying to provide us with a better life. He was away because he would never took away what we already had here. Our lives, our friends, our memories. He was away because he was our Dad.
Life after form 5 was something I’d looked forward to. Because I thought, then, I wouldn’t have to depend too much on him. I didn’t want to. I was wrong.
When I broke down and cried, he was the one who consoled me. When I skipped a lecture, he told me it was okay. When I told him I didn’t want to be a burden to him, he told me not to be ridiculous.
“If you don’t want to study there, then I’ll bring you home. You’re my daughter and I love you. You’re always welcome here. There are always other alternatives,”
How could I forget what he had said? A daughter who was miserable and cried on the phone wanting to go home, that was me. After all I’ve done. And he didn’t even get mad.
Someone who understands my passion, he understands the way I lead my life. He let me do my own errors. He told me it’s okay to fail. He pushes me in the right direction. He taught me to dream big, to leave all the feelings behind and focused on what’s important. What Dad says goes. Because I know he’s right.
I learned that it’s okay to depend on him. It’s safe, because I know he would never let me down as I’ve let him down countless of times. He would never deserted me. He would never walked away. I learned that I needn’t be cautious around him. I don’t need to act. I don’t need to pretend. He may not know me as well as my friends do, but I know that to him, I’ll always be his little princess. As I always was. And for that, nothing else matters.
But I couldn’t say all these to him. I want, more than anything else, to tell him how thankful I am, for all he has done for me. That he’s the reason I’m still able to hold on. To say to him that I love him more than life itself. I couldn’t. I would never be able to.
I love you dad.