My pa is a typical conservative Chinese father: didn't show his love when we were young; left most parenting job to my mum and worked day and night to bring home the bacon. In retrospect, he was quite a distance from me, as a little child. We had little conversation. There would always a long void between us if he drove me to/from school. I could not bring a topic shared with him either. There were times, I wrote him letters instead. I think I watched too much tv-drama. I needed to vent my frustration of him being bias to my brother, and few other emotions I had as a tween/teenager. From time to time, I placed the letter on his working desk and waited for his return from work to read. Not many letters though, a few. Less than five, I think. It was a way to communicate with him, it was an attempt to closer the distance.
But he didn't reply anyway. He probably didn't know how to response.
In typical Chinese culture, you don't learn a thing from your child. Children are expected to obey, no question and no showing of emotion to their parent. I must had made his life slanted a bit. Unexpectedly, in one of my usual badminton Saturday in school, he came to visit me. He brought me a warm big pau [大包 (dàbāo), Chinese pau filling with meat, egg and other ingredient] and urged me to eat it while it was still warm. Profoundly, I was very touched, had to hold my tears to munch that pau. That was the yummiest pau I ever tasted.
As his first born, he picked the name, 宝 (precious) for me. Everyone calls me 宝 or 宝宝 (baby), it is like a life-time proud announcement that, I am precious to him, even though Chinese patriarchy tradition runs in his blood. Well, I have to think it this way. At very later stage in life, I learn a lot more about the relationship with my father. His love towards his children may have strongly influenced by all rigid Chinese traditions and believes. I blame those nonsense, instead of my father.
|Credits: Sahlin Studio and various sources.|
These days, my mum says my pa is behaving like a little kid. He would throws a big fuss if he is not happy with someone or something. He can giggles like his grandson if he is pleased. Few months back, he asked for a mini birthday party to celebrate his 70 year-old. Perhaps he was trying to tell us that, he is an old man now.
Or maybe he wanted to get closer to us.
We had a dinner with my close relatives. My mum had a way to invited them over without telling them it was an early birthday celebration. But few of them suspected, found out and contributed a very merry party. When the candles were lit, and all of us sang the birthday song, the atmosphere was so jolly that I saw my father giggled like a little child. Pretty similar to Jiejie.