I’ve already shared this little anecdote with a few family and friends. It is a family story that happened sometime before New Year’s Eve when my husband came home from deployment:
It was bedtime and I was standing next to the mirror brushing my hair. We were all in our sleepwear; and my husband was also standing next to me, about to turn off the lights. N was also there with us, too, hiding from his father. When I finished brushing my hair, I joyfully said, “Let’s go to sleep now.”
All of sudden, I saw N pushed her Daddy outside the room and said, “Good night Daddy! Go home now. Bye!” And closed our wooden door with conviction.
At first, we all found her gesture hilarious. However, when we turned off the light, it was something that crushed my heart into tiny pieces. My husband sheepishly said, “It’s fine, Moomy because I know that nobody sleeps in this bed but you two.”
N couldn’t sleep with her Daddy beside us in one bed. She was crying for the first few minutes that night.
That’s one struggle for a family like ours whose situation is extraordinary. We are near to each other yet so far. We can’t visit his workplace all the time because of the peril we might all face along the way.
What does it take for one person to know another? In my daughter’s case, she knows her “DADDY” but does she really know the “WHO” behind her daddy? I’ve been thinking about this encounter for months now, and it leaves me feeling frustrated about myself. Sometimes I think that I am to blame for the kind of gesture N showed to her Daddy that night.
I’ve tried almost everything — Skype, Viber, Mobile Phone, tons of pictures and videos, even putting on my husband used shirt on a pillow or have it worn by one of N’s dolls.
Could it be FEAR?
I never explored about this possible reason for N’s behavior toward her Daddy, not until I came across this Adarna book called, “Ang Higante Sa Aming Bahay.”
“Nanay, Ate, and Kuya are so busy.
They say there is someone coming to the house, so they are restless.
What a surprise it was for me that it was a giant who arrived!
He was as tall as the electric posts and was as wide as a display shelf.
Who is he, anyway? Why is there a giant in our house?”
Ang Higante Sa Aming Bahay is a story of a boy named Matt-Matt who grew up not knowing his father since the latter was working as an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) for many years. If you have a husband who’s also an OFW, I recommend that you get this book to read to your children to help them understand that their father is not a scary giant, or doesn’t own a voice like a carabao’s.
The book is an award-winning book back in 2009 that is only sold for Php73.00 at the Adarna Books website and comes in 2 translations: Filipino & English.
I am still uncertain if my daughter is really scared of her daddy but at least this book, May Higante Sa Aming Bahay, brought me into a mind of a child, and how he could possible view and feel about his father.
If you’re a father reading this and you can still go home at night after a long day at work, consider yourself blessed because the situation goes with you. You have all the time in the world to physically treasure your children and celebrate everything about them.
I hope one day when Noa grows up a bit more, she’d look over at this post I made for her, and she’d gladly say:
“I hope that the giant in our house will always stay beside me, my most beloved, Daddy.”