When Dad's not around

Nonfiction by | November 16, 2008

Here we go again, Mom’s not in the house because she has work to do, and my brother going with her. What’s left is me, sitting on the sofa watching animations on T.V. Being a son of a seaman is quite difficult because your life is like a big slice of pizza without cheese on it. Sometimes, you just wish he was here! It’s really bad how questions float in my mind without any answers, like boy-things that sometimes my mother can’t answer. Seeing my friends having a complete family makes me feel OP (out of place), and somehow, jealous. I can see one of my classmates inside a car ready to go home after school laughing and talking to his dad; his mother is there too, smiling like my mother does when Dad is here.

I remember when daddy used to carry me on his shoulders and sending me to my classroom when I was in Grade 2. My classmates often laughed seeing me atop my father’s shoulders but I was very proud he was there, with my classmates finally knowing how my Dad looked. They thought he was a foreigner, and they also thought I was an American because of my prominent western features.

When we go to restaurants, the waiters often look at my mother with an expression like “Maybe this lady is divorced.” And then they look at us, the kids, and give an expression like “Poor kids, they must be really sad.” I imagine these things when mother looks very grouchy after work, or when she doesn’t buy us the things we want. Unlike my father, well, we know his weakness. Just schmooze up to him up a bit, giving him the puppy-dog-eyes and the next thing we know, we have our own, brand new Ps2!

It was really great when Dad was here, but then he had to say goodbye. On the way to the airport, I was silent, holding back my tears. I didn’t want my father to leave having his last look at his son crying. So there we were, praying, holding each other’s hands. I could see my mother’s eyes forming a teardrop. As we finished praying, my father gave us a kiss and left. I looked at the back of our car and watched my father disappear in the crowd. Then finally, when we arrived home, we were all silent. I don’t know why but we were just mute!

I will be fourteen this coming Nov. 12, and now I know how hard it is to have your father away. I now realize that when daddy comes home, gifts are not the only things to be appreciated. Now I know that you must learn by yourself when it comes to boy things. And finally, being responsible enough to be like a father at home when Dad’s not around.

But I also realize how proud I am to have a father who is a seaman. I could just imagine the hard work he does just to give us the pizza we want, the loneliness he suffers just to gives us the things we want. Come to think of it, my life is like a pizza with cheese on it, make that a double topping :-). Even though father’s not here everyday, deep inside, I know he’s just beside us. For I know, he’s never not here.

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This piece was written by 13-year old Josh upon request by the magazine of a Norwegian shipping company where his father works.

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