Growing up in Indonesia, I've never used to celebrate Father's Day. I started to know about this special day 10 years ago in Malaysia after reading it in the newspaper. Restaurants charge exorbitant prices for brunches or lunches on Father's day as if the more expensive the prices are, the more love customers show their fathers.
Until now, we don't really celebrate Father's Day. I remember 6 or 7 years ago, we wanted to bring my father-in-law for lunch on Father's Day. He simply declined and said it's unnecessary... Since we went out for lunch or brunch together quiet often, why did we have to pay more expensive lunch or brunch just because it's a "special day"? He said he knew his children loved him and he didn't need fancy lunches or brunches to confirm it.
The same goes with my husband and I... You can call us unromantic or stingy, but we are just being practical. We don't go out for lunches or diners on Valentine's Day, Father's Day or any other day that give restaurants, hotels, and florists the rights to jack up the prices. Why do we have to stress ourselves by fighting for parking space, going into a crowded restaurant, eating the same food with twice the price if we can do it a day earlier (or after) with a more pleasant experience?
But of course, it will be a different case for families whose children grown up, have their own families and live far from them. They seldom have lunches or dinners together. This Father's Day will be a perfect excuse to get together and catch up with each other.
Just a few days ago, my husband said that a successful parent is measured by his/her ability to raise the children to be independent, able to make their own decisions wisely, able to differentiate bad from good (and do the good), and (since we are a Muslim family) able to follow the Allah's teachings in their lives.
He also added that sometimes parents measure their success by the "obedient level" of the children. He is totally against it because he said sometimes being obedient is not good. Children need to learn to think critically, not to accept everything at face value, to argue, to find the truths, to make their own mistakes and to live their own lives happily. It's very selfish to expect our children obeying us all the time.
I agree with him... Although it's difficult.... Sometimes I want my girls to be obedient. But again, so many times I had been proven wrong by them. I may know a lot of things but there are things that they know better than me. It's really a two-way learning experience for both of us.
What he said reminded me of a line in one of Sting's song : If you love someone, set her free. We all know that the best thing in life is Free.
My children are very lucky to have him as their father. Happy Father's Day...