That Time Dad "Exceeded" my Gift Expectations
At the arrival section of the airport, I'd stand on tiptoes waiting for my dad to come out into the hall and when he did, I'd run and hug him. The delight of holding your dad after his exotic business trip to Hanoi or Kathmandu! He must have stories from his adventure, or even better, he must have something(s) in that bag for me *initiate x-ray vision*; some silk scarves, precious stones, Saris with elaborate embroidery. There had to be something, right? Ok, if he forgot, he'd have gotten something from Duty Free, a little Victor&Rolf fragrance or something from Ms. Coco. Bless you, Duty Free. Ok, if he skipped Duty Free, he definitely would have bought something on the plane. Straight face, no excuses.
Getting home, I wouldn't leave his side. I'd stalk him all over the house, stand by the bathroom door, follow him into the kitchen, living room, until he says, 'Ike, bring my carry-on. I have somethings for you.' Bam! Hallelujah! Plural, just the way I like it.
At the speed of light, I'd be back with the bag. I'd unzip it and wait patiently.
Dad would unpack all his stuff and then buried beneath his clothes in a very orderly pile, sometimes wrapped in a duty free bag would be papers. Yes, I mean newspapers.
'This is for you, baby!'
It would be all there; the Economist, Times, Newsweek, Bloomberg, NY times, Financial times, papers in German.
It couldn't be. Was it April? Was this a prank?
I failed to believe it. I think I must have passed out in my head. Lol. If it was April and was a prank, every trip he made since then has been followed by this prank and every month has been April. He has done this unfailingly every time since then. I didn't get it at first, why would he buy these papers for me? If he had to buy magazines, how did his fingers miss Glamour, Vogue and Cosmo? Um, where were the silk scarves and jewels?
'You should know what's going on in the world',He'd say.
He was right, i should know what was going on in the world; and yes, I should read these papers......... while wearing the pearls and scarves!
Anyway, i'd read these magazines and soon grew to love them and they became progressively easier to read (at first it took me a month to read 5 articles). Also in Business School, we were required to read the Economist and FT everyday, so that came easily to me. He planted an invaluable seed in me with all those magazines and business articles, he'll never even understand the impact of these "gifts" of his.
Of course, he also bought the silk scarves and Saris sometimes but those papers were pretty constant. I began to look forward to the magazines and less to the other gifts. On occasion, i'd wear his gift from Swarovski and wrap huge scarves around my neck while sitting on the floor surrounded by these words printed on glossy paper. Invaluable, i tell you. It's one of the best gifts you can give to a child, this habit of reading and acquiring knowledge until it becomes part of his or her daily habits. Reading is slowly becoming extinct, guys. Build good habits for your kids!
What's the best gift you could give a child (physical or non-physical)? Any habits learnt from parents? Please share below!