This Sunday is Father’s day. Since last week, I wonder how to celebrate it, without any idea yet. My mailbox keeps informing me sales and special discounts in stores; School reminds all dads that they can have a donuts treat after sending in children the Friday morning; Claire thought maybe it would be a good occasion to ask for a new toy. But I remain a little unsatisfied at the idea of writing a card and dining in a restaurant, although Claire’s Dad would probably say nothing about this easy celebration.
On Mother’s day, Claire and me enjoyed so many amazing activities : the school organized a tea party; moms got together and played with kids; we were all thrilled to receive crafts and presents prepared even several weeks ago; we read many relevant picture books; Claire drew pictures to name me “Best Mom”; kisses, hugs and “I love you” reiterated all day… But non of these seems suitable to be repeated on a Father’s day. Maybe the relationship between a dad and his kid is more complex and we don’t know how to express it besides a simple hug. Making a heart-shape cookie and writing colorful words “I love you dad” would be a little too feminine?
In China, for the majority of families, mothers take the main role of raising children and fathers work and spare their free time to do more serious activities than playing silly games with kids. It’s a frequent scene at the library, a learning center or a playground: a mom with her child and a dad seated aside staring at his phone. For my husband, as for many other dads, spending family time means driving wife and child to a place, waiting and finally paying the bill. “She loves more to play with You,”explains Peng each time I ask him to accompany Claire when both of us are available.
I picked several children’s book from the library, most of which show the activities that Dad and his kid do together: sports, sports, sports ! They also show kids’ admiration for their dad, by comparing them to superheros, giants, and magicians… Strong, Fast, Brave, Powerful, and Successful ! Dad is someone whom we are proud of, especially on Father’s day.
Claire enjoys a lot Peppa Pig, the funny British cartoons which portrays a more playful dad and a more smart Mom. But she doesn’t want to have a such silly dad and sometimes makes joke on him. Maybe, as a mom, I would enjoy the playful scene of a dad and his kid, but can’t bear to have it as a daily overwhelming scene. Because of jealousness? I’m a little picky, I know.
In a family of three, it’s hard to balance and distribute our love. Peng complains that I care too much about Claire and sometimes forget him. I’m not satisfied with him either, pointing out the lack of his involvement in family time. Every one is so busy, doing what he thinks the wright way to make a better life. We even don’t mind if these daily accusations took place in the presence of Claire. One day, at Claire’s classroom, I noticed a report of children’s answers about their parents’ job. One boy said:”Mom works a lot, at home, at grocery. Dad sleeps all day.” I happened to know this guy’s parents, a working dad and a housewife mom. “Look, moms are so influential,” commented Peng.
In my dialogues with Claire, I rarely talked about her dad. Maybe, one day, I would become like my mom, who could not stop complaining of my dad when she called me on the phone. Maybe the best thing I can do, for a Father’s day, is to tell Claire that I love her dad so much and her dad loves me so much and we all love her so much. A Father’s day could be a family day.