You never asked to be born
But you are why I made your mother breakfast (and supper) yesterday
My darling Baobao,
As you’ll probably know by the time you read this letter, your dad isn’t exactly enthusiastic about “commercial” holidays. I hate shopping at the best of times, and resent the pressure to buy presents, or even to choose a card. (Even so, I keep thinking that, next Christmas, we’ll take a hint from my late Uncle Marcel and make our own cards, especially since we now have such a photogenic model. But we’ll see how that goes closer to the time. And I digress …)
And yet …
And yet, where your dad cordially dislikes shopping and Occasions in nearly all their manifestations, your mother likes them — birthdays and Christmases and even (looking ahead) Fathers’ Days. (And though she’s no shopaholic, she does seem to find a hunter’s pleasure in stalking a mall in search of just the right item for this, that, or the other occasion. (We have learned that it is usually best if I don’t accompany her on these expeditions; it’s not fun for her or me when I start to get impatient with the process.))
And so, here’s a lesson I hope you’ll take to heart as you make your way through life. Relationships are never all about you; and they are never (at least, they certainly shouldn’t be!) all about the other person. No, relationships require trade-offs and compromises.
And in this case, it is I who have compromised. For instance, We took you to meet Santa Claus before Christmas and, yesterday, your mum woke up to a card and a (relatively) elaborate baked pancake breakfast — which I stupidly neglected to photograph for posterity.
At least I have this photo of you holding the Mother’s Day card, which we included with the celebration.
And, if I have long appreciated all that my mother had done for me since she first pushed me out of the womb so many years ago, the truth is, I didn’t really appreciate it until I saw you emerge from between your mother’s legs almost nine months ago now.
It’s a cliche to say that a man can only be impressed by what a woman experiences and does during childbirth, but it’s a cliche because it is true. What is also true is that parenting itself — what comes after the delivery — is also one hell of a lot of work (if not quite so physically painful), and even though I am doing my share in taking care of you, I am still deeply and happily grateful for all that your mum has been and is doing for you!
Not that it is a surprise to me, but it deserves to be said: Your mother has been a fantastic mother to you so far, and I am happy to bend with the prevailing winds and wish her a happy Mother’s Day from both of us!
Now to look forward to Father’s Day …
P.S. Mama Raven has kindly given her permission for me to post that rarest of rare Papa Zesser treasures: a photograph of her!