The First Man I Have Ever Loved

I used to think a wedding was a simple affair.
Boy and girl meet, he buys a ring, she buys a dress, they said “I do”.
I was wrong. That’s getting married.
A wedding is an entirely different proposition.
I know, I’ve just been through one.
Not my own, but my daughter, Annie.

Your fathers will understand.
You have a little girl. An adorable little girl who looks up to you
and adores you in a way you could never imagined.
I remember how her little hand used to fit inside mine.

Then comes the day when she wants to get her ears pierced,
and wants you to drop her off a block before the movie theatre.

From that moment you’re in constant panic.
You worry about her meeting the wrong guy of a kind,
the kind of guy who only wants one thing,
and you know exactly what the one thing is,
because it’s the same thing you wanted when you were their age.

Then you stop worrying about her meeting the wrong guy,
and you worry about her meeting the right guy
That’s the greatest fear of all, because then you lose her.
- George-


Fatherhood itself begins with a whirlpool of mixed feelings. Of euphoria, of sleepless nights, a tinge of fear perhaps and maybe even a dollop of helplessness. Being the first man her eyes meets and the big man she first looks up to, it may sound like a tall order for someone who will never be prepared enough to embrace what ‘Fatherhood’ means.

It probably starts off with learning how to bathe this new tiny human being, to recognizing that cleaning poop becomes an everyday norm, to watching her take the first few steps, to going through ABCs, to becoming her personal chauffeur to school, to going through her teenage years and constantly worrying if she were to ever fall into ruthless relationship traps, to sending her off for varsity and finally, coming to that day where she brings back that one man and asks for your blessing.

And then you question yourself, have the years flown by too quickly?

My little girl is growing up so fast and she’s leaving the nest so soon. The next thing you know, you find yourself walking her down the aisle for the very first and last time. And in all sentimental judgements by the looks of it and blatant truth, I’m sure that there is so much going on in the minds of these dads. May it be the happiness and satisfaction of watching their daughters greet success in their lives, or the unspoken sadness of watching her leave home and everything else in between.

Nevertheless, Daughters, be reminded that there is no greater joy for him than your existence itself and the miracle of watching you grow. Nobody loves you as much as your Daddy does. Well. We have our share of thoughts as well and I believe this would be able to speak for the many of you daughters out there who probably echo the same sentiments as we do.

Dear Daddy,

I know that probably the hardest thing you’ve ever done is letting me go. You have watched me grow from my days as a stumpy little toddler, walked me through my insecurities as a teen, advised me when I turned a deaf ear in my rebellion, and remained my pillar of strength that I could always fall back to all these years. I know that giving me away takes a big chunk out of you. But Dad, I’m here to tell you that it isn’t so. I’m not going anywhere. It is true things will be slightly different now that I’m married but my love for you hasn’t changed and ultimately, I am and will always be your precious little girl. So let us spend the many more years to come embracing life together and all that it has to offer.

Thank you for raising me to become who I am today. Yuo are truly my superhero and my all-in-all.

To the first man I have ever loved, Happy Father’s Day.

Forever Your Little Princess

To all Grandfathers, Fathers and Fathers-to-be, this one goes out to you (:

Photos credit : Ndrew Photography, Kevin Teh Photography, BY Photography
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