Here’s to selfless dads

I still have my late father’s wallet. I’ve had it for over 20 years. It’s old and dilapidated, not because it’s been with me that long, it’s really been like that even before Dad died.

Mama said my Dad didn’t replace his wallet much, or any of his things. She used to say he was a flawed husband but a perfect father. Calling someone perfect was such a tall order, but then again my mama isn’t too hard to please.

My dad liked, even enjoyed scrimping and then splurging on his kids. He would save his money, and then spend it on weekends on his children.

After so many years I realized that its’s true you marry your parents. You tend to gravitate towards people whose characteristics remind you of your mother or your father.

My husband is just like my father.

I used to call him a shoeaholic because he used to be so big on shoes. He had a vast collection of expensive ones before we started having children. Those were his babies, his prized possessions. Until my kids started coming, and he stopped buying.

I noticed that he hasn’t bought anything fancy in awhile so for fathers day this year we set out to get daddy a pair of shoes.

He was going to get the one he’s been eyeing for months, atleast that’s what we thought.

Until we saw that there was a big sale in the mall. He started out getting jackets for his children. I had to pull him out of the kid’s section so we can go around and find his shoes.

On our way to the shop we intended to visit we found a sports center. Where he stopped and got his children swim suits, goggles, and some gears.

A few shops away from ‘his shoe shop’ we found a new children’s shoe store. Where he spent that weekend’s shopping money on shoes for me and my children.

On our way out of the mall he was carrying bags and bags of stuff for his kids and nothing for himself. That’s how he celebrated father’s day.

On this one day out of 365 days in a year, when dads are allowed to think about themselves, my husband showed me what it really means to be a father.

Being a dad means scrimping on things you don’t need, even those that you do so you can spend your hard earned money making your children happy.

It means working your eyeballs out so you can provide for your family. Selling your vast shoe collection so you can put a roof on your children’s head, enroll them in private schools, and put nice clothes on their backs.

It’s compromising, and for some not just compromising but also sacrificing.

It’s skipping on nights out with the boys so you can go home early and cuddle with the little people who scream their heads off in excitement when you get home.

It’s letting go of your fantasy so you can build dreams for your children.

Being a dad is loving these little people more than you could ever love yourself.

Here’s to all the selfless dada who love and love without expecting anything in return. ❤️

Author: Loraine Balita-Centeno

I'm a Manila based journalist who's been working in the industry for 12 years. I've written pieces for newspapers and magazines based in Manila and some abroad. I'm a work-at-home-mom of two so I spend my days writing or editing with a toddler clamped around one leg and a pre-schooler asking me questions every 10 minutes.

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