Papa, can you hear me?
I’m going to let everyone else who is not a father in on a little secret, we (as in Fathers) are deaf.
Wives, girlfriends, significant others, this is the reason why we sometimes (correction - that should read all the time, but I like to give us fathers the benefit of the doubt) have messed up with your instructions in one way or another. You may have said, “Pick up milk and bread”, but in reality we heard, “Honey, you are the greatest man I have ever known and are perfect in everyway imaginable, can you please pick up a new cordless drill and a BMW 330xi, with the optional navigation system, pretty please with sugar on top?”
That’s what I heard, it’s not my fault I’m partially deaf. Luckily enough the sound system in the BMW is kickin’, otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to hear it. Plus it has room for the milk and bread you “apparently” asked for. So we all win. Ain’t life grand?
For you wives, girlfriends and significant others, please skip past this paragraph, this is for father’s eyes only. I mean it, there is nothing to read here. (Coast is clear. Fathers, read on.) Gentlemen, you can thank me later for writing this article. Think of it as a Get-of-Jail-Free card for any future misunderstandings. Little do they know, we really aren’t deaf, we just have trouble listening. I have proof. Remember in grade 10 biology when the teacher explained how men have trouble listening to certain frequencies? And those frequencies are the same pitch as most women’s voices? Do you remember? Just say, “yes” to yourself and feel free to use this explanation next time you have trouble finding the exit door to the doghouse.
For those who were instructed to skip ahead, please start reading here.
Thanks to the wives, girlfriends and significant others for skipping the last paragraph. There really wasn’t anything interesting in there to read. For those of you who didn’t skip the last paragraph; (you know who you are) shame on you. This proves that it isn’t just guys who don’t listen… gotcha. You just fell for my elaborate set-up.
In reality, we do listen and we mean well, but there are still going to be times when we fathers (safe to say all men in general) will confuse what you’ve said to us. Just remember to take a breath and love us unconditionally, Father’s Day is just around the corner after all.
I have a confession to make, my hearing hasn’t been so good lately, and that’s the truth. We as Filipinos are a very loud bunch. We like to talk really loud, and if someone else is talking in the same room, we need to speak just a bit louder than the other person so that we can be heard. Take that into consideration and then throw my wife and 5 boys into the mix. This has the makings of a slightly quieter version of a heavy metal concert from the 1980’s, minus the tight acid wash jeans and outlandishly long rocker hair.
My house is loud because more often than not, the boys want to play with the same toy. The very toy that sat quietly in the corner minding its own business for about two months until one of the rugrats picked it up from its resting place. And when they fight, they scream. And when they scream it sounds like a banshee had just stepped on a tack. My ears are still ringing from the fight they had last night. The way that this is going, they’ll have to continue screaming when I get older as my hearing will have deteriorated. It’s a vicious cycle.
Many people ask me, “How do you do it?”
Most days, I can’t tell you how we do it, we just do. I think the question people should ask is, “Why do you do it?” That I can answer. I like to compare being a father to the first time I got behind the wheel of a car, or when, after months and months of saving my pennies, I was able to buy that shiny new toy. There is this feeling of accomplishment, knowing that I’ve worked hard and in the end, I have been rewarded with something great – scratch that – something fantastic.
There have been many times where I had been bombarded with deadlines at work, yet, as soon as I walk in the door at home and hear the little guys yell, “Daddy!” the stresses of my day have been completely washed away. Their bright smiles and their unconditional love is the fuel that keeps me running.
Soon they will grow up, go to University, move out and yet there is this sense of accomplishment I will always take with me and trust that I’ve done what I can as a father to prepare them for the outside world.
This article is dedicated to all fathers out there and especially my late fathers Abelardo Burgos and Thomas Burwell, Happy Father’s Day. In case you didn’t hear me, HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!