Everything has its end. I knew the time will come but I didn't expect it to be very emotional for me. My wife and son have been staying with me for more than 3 months and last night they have to leave for Kuala Lumpur as my wife's school term will start before a long holiday in December.
So after an early dinner I sat on the sofa and watched TV. My son suddenly came to sit besides me and we watched TV together. This was one of those rare occasions when he wanted to watch TV together instead of jumping and playing around the house. So I just started talking to him about what he was going to do that night, going to the airport, flying to Kuala Lumpur, behaving good in my absence, listening to mama, meeting Atuk and Nenek and he occasionally repeated the words I said like aeroplane, Atuk and Nenek. I just talked to him and didn't expect him to understand anything at all. It was just talking, to get him occupied with me.
But I underestimated my son. He actually understood. He started to calm down and looked up to my face when I was talking to him. He rested his head on my arm and hugged me. He never acted like that before ! I was so surprised and touched.
I stopped talking and patted his back. I didn't know what to say, I just lost for words. My ego and macho armour as a man and a father slowly melted down like an ice cream. It felt awkward. For a moment, I tried very hard to hold my tears by swallowing my saliva and focusing on a scene in TV, but it was hard. Tears brimmed quickly in my eyes !
I just could not hold it anymore when my wife came out from the bedroom and looked at me hugged by my son like that. Drops of tears slowly fell from my eyes. I tried to talk to my wife but I was so overwhelmed with my emotions. I never experienced this feeling before ! I never felt so touched, never by a man that small.
My wife whispered to me that I shouldn't be too sad as they will come back after a month. I wanted to say 'Yes, I know' but the more I opened my mouth, the greater the emotions. My lips just trembled and oozed some inaudible words. Finally I just succumbed to the feeling and let it takes over everything. My wife understood and quickly snapped a few pictures of us.
I was stunned not just for the fact my son understood the situation but because of his simple and honest gesture of hugging me. It was the very right response. I didn't expect it to come at all.
My son finally fell asleep on my chest, letting his father to deal with his newly found emotion.
It was my first cry for the love of a son. I felt embarassed at first (for shedding tears) but eventually felt very natural. It was indeed a lesson of life and fatherhood. And I praised God for the wonderful feeling.
I love my little man.
"It is a child's hug that permeates our soul and thus we are graced"
Salvador G. Valdez
Salvador G. Valdez