Happy Fathers’ Day

I’m a Daddy’s girl.

Maybe it’s because he was the first person to see me after I was born, to welcome me into the world, our family.

Our first picture, 1991

Our first picture, 1991

I credit my dad with my unexplainable inclination to make mathematical sense of car plate numbers I see on the road (and the uncanny ability to remember them too). Who says mathematics is all numbers? I learnt algebra when everyone else was drawing models. 

I’ve never bought a soft block/soft pointe shoe in my life (another one of ballet’s pleasures). I stumped my dad one afternoon when I asked him to rip a shank and crush the life out of a shoe he thought was made of wood. He did it for 9 years. I’d come home from London with dead pointe shoes, and he’d work his magic.

When Kenneth and I were much younger, my dad was always the disciplinarian. I remember crying at times, but Kenneth somehow knew to sneak in a cheeky smile to melt Dad’s heart. Now I know that behind the veneer, he’d already forgiven us.

The first email my dad sent me left me in tears. He wrote it from Australia where he was stationed for a year – worried about my grades, and proud of the dancer and daughter I’d become. That was 8 years ago. I read it occasionally to this day, and it still chokes me up.

However I don’t have to read it to be reminded of how much my dad loves me – I see it all the time.  He’ll offer to pick me up/send me to the theatre. He’ll be dismayed when he wakes up to see that I’ve been up all night writing. He makes me coffee. He buys purple Yakult because I like it (and I didn’t have it for 3 whole years).

This is from the Parent Trap, when Annie meets her dad for the first time – Incidentally, my dad bought the VHS which Kenneth and I watched many times (and I happen to know all the words to the film). I wrote this in a (birthday or Fathers’ Day) card for my dad one year:

And if you ask me, a dad is an irreplaceable person in a girl’s life. Think about it. There’s a whole day devoted to celebrating fathers. Just imagine someone’s life without a father. Never buying a Father’s Day card. Never sitting on their father’s lap. Or being able to say ’Hi, Dad,’ or, ’What’s up, Dad?’ or, ’Catch you later, Dad.’ I mean, a baby’s first words are always ’Dada,’ aren’t they?”

On holiday in Ho Chi Minh City, 2012

On holiday in Ho Chi Minh City, 2012

I’m a Daddy’s girl. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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