During all the experiences of being a sluggish son, I had a hard time contemplating how my Dad dealt with it. Our thoughts and exchanges always felt like a heated debate regarding the day to days and it never really felt wrong. In fact, I felt it was rather important that he knew my take on things before he could even enforce them on me.
It is often said that a Dad-Son relationship is more about “reading between the lines”, which is totally in contrast with how expressive it is with the Mom. I noticed this as I grew up and it always kept me wondering why. I vaguely remember how expressive my Dad was with me due to my amazingly poor capability of remembering things, but there were small instances where I could recall his rather telling behavior, in terms of all the endearments he had for me. He seems to switch between being a tough Dad and a mushy Grand-Dad (when they’re around), and that unequivocally speaks volumes about how he was with me when I was a toddler.
The way I’ve moulded over the years, I guess it was possibly my reactions that changed his perception towards me and that’s something I’ve always longed to take back.
Ever since I graduated college, my Dad’s been hooked onto me for all his tasks that needed to be done on a technological medium and I guess a major portion of his business ran on accountability coming in from the internet. He had no idea about any of these technologies/media and never even gave it a try. He had me! I did all of those things for him. Sometimes, we spent hours in front of a computer going about his work – which I rather wished I could’ve used for online gaming (I was an MMORPG freak!), but then he never understood my anxiety to get out of this and kept going. Even with the recent migration of all technology from a computer to a handheld, he never wanted to learn about them and still depended on me. One day, I asked him “Why don’t you learn to do all this yourself? It’s easy, I’ll teach you.”, to which his immediate response was “No! I made you an Engineer mainly for this purpose, why should I learn?”. We’ve had this exchange several times and the outcome was always the same. I gave up! I had to forward emails, perform banking transactions online, review real estate documents and check a business legitimacy based on his request – immediately!
It was different with my mother though! She always wanted to do things herself and wanted to learn the ways. I taught her how to use her smart phone and the laptop and she slowly grasped them. When I saw her using the phone, I was proud of myself! But then, I asked her “Ma, why Dad doesn’t even put an effort to learn and do things himself?” and she said, “He’s just finding ways to spend time with you, talk to you and have a chance at scolding you for not doing things right.” Realized, not so tough, Dad !
Now, that’s something most Dads would never confess. You’ve got to “read between the lines”. Or simply, ask Mom!