I was having a conversation with your mum about lief in general, and I was sharing with her this phrase “家和万事兴”. It is loosely translated as “When there is harmony in the family, there will be prosperity in all things and matters.”
Honestly, right now things, ain’t exactly smooth sailing for your dad. The nature of my work is challenging and being a sole breadwinner is no joke. Somehow, I don’t really feel weigh down by the burden, I still wake up everyday, go to work everyday, determined, joyful and happy. Things in the office isn’t at its most conducive, relationship isn’t the warmest, well, work will be work, and a job is, only a job.
Family is what kept me going. Before I met your mum, friends was my source of social anchor, friends defined who I am, because, your dad’s parent’s isn’t really the kind of parents who can provide a child some measure of emotional, psychological support. There was no anchor at home, put it simply. So I sought my friends for social identity, and thankfully, I’ve got some decent friends that help shaped me to become the person I am today.
Bear one thing in mind, as I grow older, friends will come and go, family, sticks.
Sure, we all heard of some ‘black sheep’ in the family or watch one too many TV soap operas about sibling rivalries and other family feuds. Sure, there will always be some kind of trouble in all families, but remember the proverbial saying, blood will always be thicker than water.
Some people make treat friends like families, and, families like friends. But deep down inside, we all know what it takes to be a family and friends, simply does not cut it. It is the biological bond, that makes even the most distant relative, closer than the closest friend. And your closest of friends will know that too, and never asks of you to be any less to your family. Friend who pull you away from your families, will eventually pull away from you too. After all, friends will be friends., they will come and they will always go.
When I started out dating with your mum, we started as friends too, and colleagues. It was rather trying for her, because she started treating me like family first. I still treat my friends closer than I treat her, or treat her the same as I treat my friends. That caused some friction, and my social conditioning didn’t make it easier. I couldn’t understand her rationale when I still hinged on my friend for social anchor.
But she proved to be my greatest anchor, and the basis for my definition as me. The family gradually grew its share of voice in my head. Now I cannot talk to my friends without mentioning my families, and when I am with my family, I can, not talk about my friends.
And coming home to see the both of you, who accepts me as your father unconditionally, is simply the best reason for me to exist, and work. Friends will never love me the way you two love me, and friends will never need me the way a son needed his father. That unconditional bond is something no friends can replace.
So my hope for the both of you, is to find that harmony at home, in the home you decide to build with the woman you love. Be her friend first, then be her family, make sure harmony radiates from the wells of your home, then everything in your life will have meaning, will have be flavorful, hardship will be a little less ‘hard’.
Well, even if the whole world fails on you, you still got me, your mum, and the both of you, as families.