Fathers teach their children many things, of course, but many of the most important lessons come when a good man is just being a good father. Alice Chan has this Perspective.
I’m three, sitting on the stairs in the dawn light. I’m holding a blue mug with a white rim, still warm from the coffee it just held. The name ‘Raymond’ is engraved in jaunty script. I’m salvaging the coffee-soaked sugar from the bottom with a spoon.
Raymond is my dad, who had just left for work. I never wanted him to leave. I would stay up late, refusing to go to bed until he had kissed me goodnight. He was a hospital doctor with an erratic schedule, so I’d have to wait a long time.
My dad taught me how to wait for someone you love.
I’m five years old and I love examining my mum’s make-up collection. I’m alone in their bedroom. I open up pots and tubes. I look at them closely, taking in their delicate fragrance. I don’t dare try them.