Feature Article of Sunday, 18 June 2017

Columnist: citifmonline.com

My dad is a friend but my mom is my best friend

It was several weeks away from Mothers’ Day and Ghanaians we inundated with massive publicity on one program or the other advertising Mothers’ Day celebration.

The publicity about the day was so massive that even if one was deaf or blind, he or she could hear, see and feel something big was about to happen.

Fathers’ Day is finally here. But the deafening silence about it is evident in Amartey’s response when I spoke to him prior to the day, “I don’t know when is Fathers’ Day, is it today?’ “He asked. And Adotey is not happy about it. “It’s quite surprising that when it comes to Fathers’ Day it’s a different ball game altogether”.

Ironically, two ladies I spoke to Stephanie and Ama knew the day very well. But they contend that Fathers’ day celebration can never equal that of Mothers.

‘You can’t beat mothers. Mothers are just special, mothers are empathic and mothers feel for people. Fathers I don’t know. It’s like always work, money, work, money, work, money. They think they can only rule with money’.

Ama agrees providing money for the home is important but admonishes ‘we need the care, the affection and everything’. Puzzled, I asked ‘is it that children are complicated or just ungrateful?

To which Ama retorted ‘you should ask the other guys too, you’ll see they will say the same thing. It cuts across’. Adotey agrees with the ladies but explains the phenomenon with an interesting theory.

‘It’s more a spiritual thing, where every person came from a woman be it male or female. So the attachment children have towards their mothers is stronger compared to fathers’.

So what are the personal experiences my new friends had with their fathers? Stephanie was particularly fond of her father but was quick to draw the lines. ‘For me, my dad is a friend.

But I am closer to my mom than my dad. I can confide in him. When I go out and things happen, I can tell him, but we don’t flow like my mom. My mom is like my best friend. We do ‘konkonsa’ (gossip) everything together. I can’t do ‘konkonsa’ with my dad.

‘The bonding should come from the gossiping then’ I remarked. Stephanie concurs adding ‘it makes her feel she is my mate’. Amartey’s isn’t such a pleasant experience. His father suddenly went missing with his birth.

‘My father was nowhere to be found. He abandoned my mother compelling my mom and my grandmother to take care of me. Unlike Ama who describes her father as a pensioner, Adotey wasn’t lucky enough to grow seeing his father ‘I was quite young when my dad passed away’.

What’s for Father’s Day?

Stephanie and her siblings plan to give their father a treat a plush hotel in Accra, one she knows he hasn’t visited before. Ama on the other hand will simply cook the pensioner’s favourite meal and have long chats into the night. Adotey will call his ‘Fathers in the Lord’ over phone and wish them happy fathers’ day’.

Amartey’s father may have bolted at his birth but he has a heart, big enough to let go except to leave this passionate appeal to fathers “it was an enjoyable moment before the child came. So it should be an enjoyable moment even when the child is born.

So I will appeal to all men, they should put their egos aside. The women are always loud but for Christ sake