Life as a single father

22 09 2009

papajonFor those that personally know me, also know the deep and everlasting love I have for my beautiful daughter Kaya Mahal.  From the day she was born until now, her smiles, giggles, her tears, her love, her hugs and her words melt me every single day.  Watching her grow has been the epitome of my reason to live.  I work not for myself, but for my daughter.  So that she can have the basic necessities of life, and so that she can enjoy her upbringing.  Not spoiled by material things but spoiled with love. 

Unfortunately things with her mother did not work out between us, but with that being said, the love we both share with her is equal and unconditional.  Kaya has an amazing mother whom she loves dearly.  The interesting thing about children is how much they want to be like their parents.  When I have Kaya for my week, she becomes the spitting image of me.  She talks like I do, and listens to the same music as I do.  As much as she loves her Treehouse channel on TV, it’s reggae music that she sings with passion.  Every Saturday and Sunday mornings I wake up to a smiling child with words that are forever engraved in my heart and mind…”Good morning Papa, make breakfast? Dance to reggae?”  On the weekends, Kaya and I have a routine.  We wake up early in the morning and prepare breakfast together.  Ofcourse since I try to get as much sleep on the weekends, she’s always the one waking me up. 🙂  Once I’m up, we’ll walk to the kitchen together and I’ll fix her a cup of juice or milk.  I’ll ask her what she wants for breakfast and she’ll promptly respond with “Papa, eggs and rice and cheese…”  She will run to our little stereo in our kitchen and start the music… what song  you may ask?  Toots and the Maytals’ “Chatty Chatty”.  It’s one of her favourite songs.  Anyways, I’ll make the rice which she helps rinse the excess starch from.  As the rice is cooking, I will put eggs in a bowl and hand it over to her, she’ll beat the eggs until she’s done.  She loves cheese, especially on her eggs so if we have it.. it’s an added bonus and boy does it make her happy.  When the food is done, i’ll prepare her plate and she quickly follows me into the dining room, takes a chair and is ready to eat.  After breakfast, we’ll both head over to the TV for an hour of morning cartoons.  Depending on what we have to do that day… the hour changes either longer or shorter.  But these morning cartoons are usually spent with her and I playing around… sometimes we’re not even watching… we’ll build tents, talk to her toys, and sometimes she takes a quick nap. 

The afternoons are usually fairly the same… after lunch she usually takes a nap.  And if we’re at home, she sometimes takes an hour to two hour nap which i spend cleaning up, doing chores around the house, or napping with her.  After her nap, we usually go for  walk to the park or head downtown for a Papa/Kaya day.  She loves to walk, and loves spending time with me.  Throughout the day, she showers me with “I love you Papa, I missed you Papa”. 

I usually put her to bed by 9pm.  She knows this and sometimes i’ll let her stay up to watch Diego or Ni Hao Kai Lan.  As we sit in bed, Kaya and I always have a conversation before we go to sleep.  We talk about the day that just passed, or if she got in trouble earlier in the day we’ll talk about that.  Sometimes we talk about what we’re going to do tommorow, and if there’s something really cool that we’re going to do, she goes to sleep a lot faster.  It’s amazing seeing how excited she gets when her and I have an outing together.  She usually falls asleep quickly.. her peaceful sleep can 9 times out of 10 put me out as well. 

She’s the reason I wake up every morning.  The reason why I work hard everyday.  The reason why I sacrifice a meal so that she can have a meal later that day.  This path of realization begins everyday for me… it’s ongoing and it’s the most amazing thing that has ever happened in my life.  She brings happiness in my life, even days that she’s miss cranky pants.  She challenges me everyday, and I learn something about myself each and every time. 

Life as a single father is tough, but I wouldn’t have it any different.  Yes, I have a week to myself when her mom has her, but believe me… being away from her is the toughest thing in the world.  I’ve learned a lot about our father/daughter relationship.  I see her as an equal, a strong filipina sister who will grow up to be a smart and progressive woman.  I know it will get tougher as the years go by, as she get’s older and into her teenage years… but I know I will enjoy every second of it.  She will have respect for our people, our struggles, our community, our motherland…. 

Tonight when I pick her up for her week stay with me, I’ll give her an extra long hug and some Daps from those of you who read my blog. 

Papa loves you Kaya Mahal!!!!!

….my daughter, my best friend, my life, my love, my sidekick…

she loves pancit!

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