Today we celebrate Father’s Day. The occasion also continues the never ending debate on why fathers contribution to the family deserves to be recognised the same as mothers.
Frankly, the debate should not be taken seriously. Do so and your respected level of intelligence is seriously in doubt.
In any normal family, mothers and fathers have their own little quirks, built up over the many years of a loving relationship.
Eavesdropping outsiders have no idea what the two are on about at times…including their children.
Mothers will always have the upper hand ribbing into fathers. The wisdom of experience and understanding makes the fathers turn indifferent ears on the raves and rants of their noisy halves.
Fathers are adept at sneaking in a quick retort before making quick retreats to the safety of a refuge where the cacophony of sound and fury are muted.
Such is the ardor of matured romance. To give that a rating on who is better than the other is like saying the mouth is more important than the nose.
How silly is such an argument if or when it is to be taken seriously.
When a mother says everyday is fathers day, the context is loving. Not a reason to put dad under the magnifying glass to check out what fatherly warts he has under his lavalava.
Try dragging the negatives about dad on the dirt and the first person to come flying out in his defence, fingernails and toenails, is the mother – his partner for better or for worse in life until death do part.
Don’t be surprised.
Always at times like these the words of the late Polataivao Fosi Schmidt echoes into the conversation… “Say only peace and loving words.”
Most fathers appreciate the peace of a few cold ones to ‘build up an appetite’ for all that good food, cooked specially for ‘to’ana’i’ on his day today.
No admonishing looks from mothers or uncommonly loud noises of clanging pots and pans in the kitchen or the dishes as they are being laid out on the dining table.
Today is when a few extra cold ones are left in the fridge for him to stumble into. As he sips quietly in the cool breeze of the front porch, walk up and ask him if it’s true that free beer tastes better.
Instead of telling him to get a haircut, spin a story about how mom always boasts about his handsome looks after a haircut.
Try not to over do the sweet talk. Dad is already on to your sugar swagger with the free beer jab.
Talk normal to the man. Watch his face when you tell him the family agreed on his favourite dishes of mud grabs in coconut cream and salted povi masima.
Balance the mushy emotions with the aggravation of the Manu Samoa loss to the US at the Pacific Nations Cup in Fiji.
Shake your head in pretend frustration at the referee disallowing the team’s winning try. Let him have a go at the poor level of officiating.
Carry on the conversation as if it was any normal day and drop in a hint about the delicious toana’i waiting to be served.
Go easy! You don’t want to make him feel guilty of holding everyone up while he takes his time cooling down.
Remember he is the father and you are regurgitating some of the clever moves he taught you.
Once the ‘to’ana’i’ is done, that is it.
Father’s Day is ‘done and dusted’.
Tomorrow you can go back to being your difficult self again.