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José Luis Elizondo Cantú: Dad is not a rubber duck, happy father's day

Dear reader, I remember very much that when a client tried to haggle my professional services, I would say: "I'm sorry, but my children are not rubber ducks, I have to bring the potato." Historically, the father gives the potato. An expression that does not refer only to food, but also to the roof; dress; Health; education; transport; fun and affection, to mention the least; since a potato with true substance also includes advice, support and values.

Because of our culture, we have reduced the “potato”, or the meaning of being a father, to the sole reason of providing a seed at the beginning and then securing family finances. But the continuity in the care of a plant born from our seed lasts almost our entire life, at least until it becomes a leafy tree that bears fruit and seeds so that the cycle repeats itself.

A year before my father's death, I was in Mexico City on work issues. I could not attend his birthday party, the whole family attended, even the political and even the putative ... I was only missing. And because life is like that, in my bedroom there is a photograph of that event, a photo where generations are surrounding my father, and among all of them, a hole that could have been mine.

I didn't feel like it and after a while I invited him to his favorite restaurant. During lunch my father asked me incessantly, do you have a problem son? Why did you invite me to eat alone? I replied: "Father, I only had the desire to have you a few moments to myself, I want to enjoy your presence without sharing you with anyone, just you and me." How I enjoyed those moments watching him enjoy his loaded ribs, I think without a doubt that this has been one of the best moments of my life. Then I said, “Father, if I raised my children like you raised us, I would be the happiest man in the universe. You gave your children education, values ​​to face life and take flight to make our own nests, but I would like you to be very clear that your responsibility has reached that point.

My father died on March 21 of the following year, but on the 14th, on his birthday, we had a small meal at his house. It was my turn to be next to him at the table, I had one of the best opportunities of my life. I hugged him, I kissed him, I rubbed his back and passed my hands on his shoulders, I caressed his wavy gray hair, I put his head with mine, I looked at him and with my eyes I told him that I loved him, with a vast loving silence and quiet. What a fatherly gift from God the Father! They do not believe? I am infinitely grateful to have had that opportunity, because that was the last time I saw him alive. Seven days later, they would tell me that my father was dead.

There are parents who are friends, others who are bosses, bosses, there are policemen and even the military; Those who could, educated us as they could and gave as far as they could, here there is everything but perfection; But the common denominator of being a father is being an inexhaustible source of love. Well, all of us who make the conscious decision to be parents invariably make mistakes, but what I am sure of is that always, always, everything we do, we do it out of love. He is infallible, a man who recognizes himself as a father, loves his children no matter what, loves them and will continue to love them despite and with everything ... always. It is about unconditional love, pure and total.

And so it is, when, perhaps with the light that that great love gives us, we can see further afield and find ourselves reflected in our parents through our children; and another miracle occurs, let us see a new love being born, let us find ourselves loving and recognizing our father more than ever, more fully than ever, and now as children we take the opportunity to unconditionally love our parents.

This fathers day, serve to remind the children that dads are not rubber ducks either, we have feelings and for us the potato is not a basket with fine liquors, cake, balloons with messages, watches, brand clothes, or much less another tie for the collection.

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