My father was worried this morning. “How will I get inside the house later?”, he asks. On a Wednesday morning, the conversation continues like this as I rush out to catch my 8 a.m. class. Honestly, I had no time for the chit chat as I hit the snooze button one too many times this morning, but I welcome the morning chatter. The house has become lonely, it has only been me and Tatay this whole week.
|An old candid shot of Tatay.|
It’s funny because my father refuses to bring house keys. Literally, he needs someone to open the doors for him. Since my mother, who usually opens the doors for us, has been away for most of this week, our lives have continued on in this confused peaceful fashion. Whether or not we are having the defrosted adobo for the nth time as supper is a detail that we now have concerned ourselves with. The talk ends with me saying “Yes, Tatay. I will be here by the time you get home, don’t worry.”
It’s not that he’s not capable, no, on the contrary! My father is a very capable man. An accomplished lawyer, a loving husband, and a wonderful father– my family lives this comfortable life because he built it for us. He has done great and wondrous things in his personal and professional life.
But, he never makes himself dinner. I once came home to him munching away on Sky Flakes at 9:30 p.m. because no one was there to make him dinner.
With good reason, I suppose. When we were younger he insisted he was going to cook us the best shrimp meal ever. What he served would get you drunk in one bite– the ‘Nilasing na Hipon’ was really ‘lasing’. Looking back, it was probably the first time I believed that less alcohol would've made for a better decision. We laughed it off.
Another of his attempts at feeding his then young kids ended with a melted tupperware inside a microwave, and a mini fire scare. Again, we laughed it off. Yes, I guess he really doesn’t cook for reasons that are very clear now.
My mother told me that he made breakfast for himself the other day. Toasted pandesal, she said. A feat considering that this morning, I left him with a breakfast of Sky Flakes with cream cheese.
Its funny and I crack these jokes, but I am my father’s daughter. It is 8 p.m., also, I have not had dinner. Hand me those Sky Flakes!
Sometimes I worry. What do we do when the adobo runs out?
Simple. Call Nanay, we will always have Nanay.
But really, even if she isn’t around, I would cook for my father. Always, and any time he’d need me to.
He gets grumpy when he’s hungry.
Tatay, please laugh that last comment off.