One day, I’ll be a dad. Hopefully of three kids. Just enough to keep my hands full and for my family name to carry on. All genders represented because of what my life has taught me. The brothers to make men out of each other. And girls to ensure you never lose touch with the fairer things in life. To never become too callous a man
One day, I will stand by my wife in that labour ward, as she screams her heart out. Standing by every minute just for the support. Because I will have been partly responsible for that necessary pain. Also, as a real man never abandons those who need his help most; will always be there when called upon, to be the guide, the counsel, the head, the shepherd.
One day I will look down on my child, wrapped in swaddling linen, head-to-toe. All for protection from the omnipresent harshness of the natural world. I’ll take those tiny, chubby hands and hold them in my own. I will feel as my son/daughter will gently squeeze my finger as if calling to me ‘Never let me go’. And I will play with those hands, till they are strong enough to lift earth and metal…till they can knit and sew a wardrobe fit for kings.
One day, I will watch my child take those first stumbling steps, the first of millions. The first ones that will carry him into territories unknown, to marvel at nature and sample the world’s best. And with those very steps, one day I’ll walk with my children, hand in hand, through the blossoming orchards, by the ever flowing mountain stream. And tell them of a world that was before them. Of people who were before them. Of mothers and fathers. Grandmothers and grandfathers. Sisters and brothers. Champions of their generations. And to whose name they will be expected to live up to. To carry their family flag high. Their country’s flag. Their flag.
One day, it will be my child’s first day of school. They will cry, of course they will cry. And I will reassure them, with a coy smile. Knowing that a discovery shall be made that day. A new friend. New knowledge. And so will continue the legendary circle of life. And (Insha-Allah) I will be there, the very day they graduate, holding now the power to read. And I will ask them, “Remember your first day in school?” and of course the embarrassment won’t let them admit it, but they will remember that very same coy smile, that ‘Daddy-knows-what’s-best-for-you smile.
And one day, wedding bells shall abound. And as I lead my daughter down that aisle, not wanting to let her go, maybe thinking of later shouting in objection when the pastor asks that penultimate question (anyone opposed to this marriage…) I will look at her behind that veil. Seeing that ‘I-know-what’s-best-for-me-now’ smile she’ll be wearing. Then it will hit me: the tables have turned. My time is past me.
Sadly, one day, I will be drawing my last breaths. Hopefully, painlessly as they can be, surrounded by my kin. And I will know I was blessed. To meet my loving better half. To have children to keep me in my old age. Friends who I shared my life with. Enemies who made me strive harder for success. They who stuck by me, in good and bad times. The sad and the happy times. I know they’ll shed a tear or two. I will beg them not to, for they will know it was a life well lived.
One day, a story begins,
One day, a story must end