Saturday, January 17, 2009
Why I had To Leave Mrs. Claus Alone
“Dad, why do you do what you do? I think that is unkind of you to stay away from your loved ones on this special time of the year. Who’s going to play Santa Claus if you’re not here? Why do you leave me and Mrs. Claus out here in the cold nights of December?”
That could be what’s inside the innocent mind of my 6-year old daughter when I bid her goodbye during the airport sent-off on my way back to Saudi Arabia after a 2-month long vacation in the Philippines.
This time of the year as usual, I have to stay away from my family because of my work. It is really a difficult choice and even thinking about it makes me sad but I have to steel my heart and mind so that I would not be driven in despair for I need to reassure Mrs. Claus and my children back home that everything is going to be fine. I have to reiterate this assurance though words may not be enough to compensate for the warmth and affection they will miss from an absentee father who, otherwise, could have played that stupid guy in red suit who laughs ho-ho-ho. There is a sense of loss in not personally seeing one’s children as they grow up. This loss that usually turns into resentment is often compensated by a steady stream of gift-giving through monthly remittances.
Going back to my daughter’s pained imaginary questions, my answer could be: Don’t be sad. It is not that I’m ungrateful of having you and your mom around; it’s just that I need to stay away for a while so that I can fulfill what you want to be when you grow up and hoping that someday, Daddy will never leave you anymore. And just like Santa, Daddy, also feels lonely leaving Mrs. Claus all alone, but it is a noble thing to do to make little kid’s wishes come true, what more for a sweet angel like you. But don’t you worry my little angel, for Daddy knows where “North Pole” is and I’m keeping a map of it inside my heart so that I will never lost my way back home.
In the meantime, I want you to close your eyes and hold on to this promise of mine and one day when you wake up, you will see me again with Mrs. Claus around my arms laughing ho-ho-ho all the way to mistletoe.