Talking about fathers on Fathers’ Day

Now we see fathers bond with their children and active parenting is the norm. This generation of kids, the millennials, is better off than my generation, the baby boomers. My generation on the other hand is better off than my father’s generation with regard to education and wealth.

My father was from China. He moved to Malaysia and later took up Singapore citizenship in the 1940s. He survived the Japanese Occupation. He had no formal education and he worked hard to see us through life.

I am the youngest in the family. When I was born, my father was 48 years old. When I went to National Service, he was 66 years old and when I was independent of age, he was nearing 70 years old. That was a big gap between our ages, 48 years!

My father had always been quiet at home. There was no common area of interests where we could talk to each other. No reading during bedtimes (he had no formal education); no outings such as cinemas (he was busy with making ends meet); no heart-to-heart talk (age gap between us). My school report cards were signed by my eldest brother on behalf of my father.

Do I feel any less about my father? No siree! He was my father (my father passed away in 1999) and I did not get any beating from him. He gave me space to be independent and to grow up very quickly. I remember going to P.Tekong camp for my recruit training and he did not see me off. No one did, as I did not need that

That was the special bond between us. No words were required. Just by being present with each other would do and this carried on till the last days of his life.

Enjoy the company of your fathers on this Happy Fathers’ Day!

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