Today when I am a parent myself, I feel some of my most special lessons in parenting come from my father. These were not written in some kind of a rule book or spoken aloud like quotable quotes but these came to me in actions that were louder than any words.
- About three and a half decades ago in a quaint little town you were a diaper dad by choice. I understood parenthood as being better than the highly popularised motherhood.
- I always saw you helping mummy around the house, especially with my tasks- tiffin, getting the school dress in order, homework. My first lessons in gender-neutral parenting and partnership.
- Unlike a lot other homes, me and mummy would watch a cricket match and you would make us tea. So the first person who broke down gender stereotypes within the family for me was you.
- In teenage years, periods or sanitary napkins weren’t a taboo, I could talk to mummy or I could talk to you. It made me so much at ease with my body and my sexuality.
- Unlike a lot of parents, contrary to public opinion and even your own preference for the Sciences you supported me when I opted for Humanities right after school. There was no pressure to be someone I was not.
- You kept struggling with your own patriarchal upbringing to accept my male friends, boyfriend, my independent lifestyle choices, but you never held them against me even when some of them went horribly wrong. You allowed me my mistakes and their lessons.
- You always told me no matter what you were proud of me and that you would always love me. This realisation is such a huge part of my self-worth.
- You always believed and displayed so much of confidence in my abilities that I could push my boundaries every single time. You gave me all my strength.
Trying to raise my child with self-belief, gender-sensitivity, an independent mind and a strong voice, just like what my father did for me.