An Ode to the Most Positive Male Figure in My Life

I feel that building relationships with your family is something that is out of your control when growing up. I believe that as a parent, it is important to foster a connection with your kid or kids that goes beyond the role of providing the basic necessities for your children.

Disclaimer: I don’t think it is necessary to have a strong relationship with your parents to be a productive member of society. However, I feel that if you do have one, it’s good to show your appreciation for them. I want to highlight my personal experiences with my dad, the primary male figure in my life because I’m so grateful for the role he plays.

My dad is hands-down one of my best friends. We joke around, build IKEA furniture, watch action movies that have no real plot and annoy my sister and mom together. But on some levels, we are so different. His favourite subjects in school were math and physics, whereas I would much rather write an essay than do anything related to numbers. But because of this, I can appreciate what makes us different and learn from him.

In South Asian families, there is a tendency for men to not be very expressive. Often times, relationships between a father and their child, specifically with fathers and daughters, can be quite strained. I have been extremely lucky to have a father who has always been expressive with his love for me, both through his words and actions. I’ve always known how proud my dad is of me and how much he loves me because he tells me and shows me. Throughout my childhood, my dad drove me to and from school, went on school field trips with me and constantly took me places to see my friends. He’s made me value the time I spend with people in my life and has influenced me greatly in showing others how much I care for them.

In my own experiences with friends, I am very expressive with my love for them. In other words, I tell them very often how much I appreciate them and try to support them in any way that I can because this is what I am used to.

Whether or not you have a strong relationship with your parents, you can still support yourself through the relationships that you create throughout your life and the actions that you take to better yourself. My dad is a very different person than his father (who was also a great man but came from a generation that had different views on parenting). What I really appreciate about my dad is that he embodied the version of a parent that he thought would work best for him and be the most meaningful for me.

Overall, if you do have a good relationship with your parents or other family members, appreciate what you have and make sure you tell them! I am so grateful for my relationship with my dad, and I don’t know who I would be without him. So, this one’s a shoutout to him!