When you are a 21st Century dad, you worry about your children’s future. We live in an information explosion era, whereby things are quite unpredictable especially with the youth. Sometimes I envy my forefathers because they had a strict code of conduct which constituted very strong, even though unwritten, laws that guided members of society. For instance, where I come from, the elders decided when a young man had to marry and even went ahead to shop around for a befitting bride from the next village.
Of course this came with its own disadvantages, including what we have come to call fundamental freedoms or rights of choice and privacy. But, in a way, these customary laws made things a bit predictable and under control. Today we live in an era where anything goes. If it is okay with me, then it is probably okay. This is my life and so long as I keep it on my lane, you don’t have any business crossing it and questioning what I do! So we no longer have any direct control over our children, especially when they are transitioning into adulthood. There is so much freedom of choice that has directly led to outright rebellion in the youth of today. So how will the future generation, say two decades from now, be?
I always dread the day my little princess will finally show up at my doorstep with this young man who has just committed the atrocity of stealing her heart. I guess all dads secretly dread this day. I always wonder what kind of young man he would be and I have repeatedly promised myself that if you are going to steal my princess’ heart, then you better be a smart thief all through. You see I would want nothing but the best for her. I don’t want to know where you will steal lots of joy from and deposit it in her heart. All I want to hear is that her account is overflowing with a surplus of joy.
Like any parent, I imagine of very wonderful things about my children’s future. But because I don’t want to die of shock when that time comes, I also mull over the worst case scenarios. Though I have always prayed against such an eventuality, whenever my mind is transported to such future scenarios, I imagine her showing up in my house with another girl and happily telling me to meet her future life partner! or my young son showing up with another young man and asking me to meet his future husband! Where I come from even talking about the possibility of such ignominy is an abomination.
I have also imagined of my daughter coming home with this young man who looks like a leopard, because of the tattoos covering every nook and cranny of his body. His face looks like a magnet that attracted so many pieces of metal because of the various piercings that decorate its features.
This kid is wearing his cap backwards, just like they do in the American hip hop music movies, and the beltline of his trouser is hanging loosely, just slightly below his buttocks, exposing his not so good-looking boxers! He keeps tugging at the trouser, to stop it from falling, while he walking as if someone just drove a wedge between his legs or the trouser is being weighed down by a load of poop!
As I give him a sweeping look that starts from the sneakers he is wearing and then, slowly proceeds upwards, taking in his tight jeans that is torn at various points and his T-shirt with a big “YOU Only Live Once – YOLO” emblazoned across the chest, then finally halting at the cap which hides his shaggy hair that looks like it has been loudly begging for a barber’s attention for quite some time, but it ended up being accidentally dipped in some bright yellow dye; my scantily dressed princess is telling me something.
The boy’s lips, which seem blackened from constant smoking of some illegal stuff, twist into a smirk (that I am really tempted to punch off his face) revealing teeth that have seen better days of staining by illegal smoke. Two of the front teeth are coated with a fake shiny metal and his permanent smirk sees to it that everybody notices the shiny teeth. His fist is outstretched in a way as if saying, “Gota!” of the time, but I am ignoring it intentionally if only to make it clear that he is not welcome in this territory. Forgive my upbringing but where I come from, this is alien. This is the best example of a walking spectacle. The first question I really want to ask him is, “Who is your mother?”
But instead I catch myself thinking about my short-gun, which I plan to acquire over time. Don’t get me wrong here. I am usually not a gun-slinging trigger-happy nut job with “adequacy issues,” you can take my word for that.
However, there are a few instances when a man should remember where his dusty short-gun is stored. Like when Lucifer shows up at your door-step threatening to snatch your princess from you or when you find another man in your matrimonial bed.
Then you hear what your little princess has been trying to tell you all this while: “Dad I just said, meet my new boyfriend, his name is. ……”
Your raised hand cuts her short “No need to tell me.” You interrupt her. “I already know his name. He is called Lucifer the son of hell.” Lucifer’s fist is still outstretched. You feel your hand suddenly shaking and slowly folding into a tight fist. Your lips and nose are shaking with rage too. You have this strong urge to punch the lights out of the young man, and call all the neighbors to come and see this spectacle, but then you remember that this is just an overgrown boy. Somebody’s son!
“Call your mother here immediately?” you hear somebody command in a harsh hoarse voice. It is your voice! You can hardly recognize the choked mumble as yours. Your wife hears the commotion and comes to the door.
“See what your daughter just brought home,” You bellow. Whatever happened to this world, you did not expect the end of it to come so soon. And it decided to come right to your door-step wearing a despicable smirk on its face! What is a man supposed to do in such a situation?
It is only 1.00 p.m. but you want to head straight to the bar. You badly need some whisky to clear your head. But then you remember that you are a respected member of your local church and drinking is not taken kindly by your Dr. Bishop, prophet Apostle pastor and the other church elders. The last time you had whisky is 20 years ago and except some occasional wine, you have been a teetotaler. Many youths look up to you as an elder and role model in your church.
Every time this possible future nightmare plays in my mind, I get so mad at this imaginary young man, and I find myself shaking with rage. As I a stare down at my sleeping little princess, I am forced to say a quick prayer for her. Being a dad to a little princess and a naughty four year old son changes you forever. Doesn’t it?
However, I hate even starting to imagine my son coming home with another young man and asking me to bless their marriage. Where will I start? Will I first ask who the wife is and who is husband? God forbid!
However, in your musings of how your children will eventually turn up, you can’t miss to imagine of a day when your boy will come home in the company of this hot little thing, with some brain and an ass on it, then introduces her as his girlfriend and future wife. Your heart will definitely glow with pride. You will tell yourself that choosing beauties runs in the family. Isn’t his mother enough testimony to that? Even with the few Wrinkles that will have started appearing on her temple and the few streaks of white hair, she will still be a stunning beauty by then.
That is your 21st Century dad. Isn’t it amazingly irrational how fathers act so protectively when young men eye their daughters, but when their sons come home with some shapely young beauty, their hearts swell with pride? I bet such are the double standards applied by dads the world over.