Sorry, this is not about Barak Obama; these are my dreams – the dreams I’ve had since I was a little girl. Save for my dream about being the next American Idol (even though I am not American), my dreams have always revolved around the one person I know very little about – my father!
My childhood was great. I’d be dreadfully ungrateful if I complained. We were out of Africa trying to blend in with white folks. Personally, I was too young to understand why we were not the same colour; in fact, we were all just painted for all I cared and green people just hadn’t arrived yet.
Hazy as my memory is, I remember a white girl called Heather. We sort of became friends. What I remember about her the most was her dad. She spoke about her dad like he was Clark Kent (that would be superman people!) I watched them play every time he came to pick her up.
He would carry her over his shoulders and walk to the car after they were done running around. I made sure we spared time every day for her to tell me stories about her dad. Then the dreams started.
But I found myself dreaming more about her dad than I did mine!
I remember class assignments that required drawing what we see, whether at home, school, in the supermarket…my pictures always had my dad standing tall and strong, looking ready to take on anyone who messed with his little girl. It would have been great, if the pictures were actually true. Even though I knew I was lying, it gave me deep consolation looking at those pictures, plus, it watered down my dreams of a white dad!
Heather and I shared a passion – Barbie dolls! One day, she invited me over to her place after school and when we got to her room, she made my little collection look like a charity case! It was wonderland. I was later informed that daddy dearest made it a point to buy a doll every time he saw one. Not only did he buy these dolls, but he also sat with her in her room and played with her.
I had a teenage brother who wouldn’t be caught dead holding a doll but here was a fully grown man not embarrassed to sit with his daughter and play! My dreams thickened! I imagined my dad sitting there helping me change Barbie’s clothes.
I dreamed of him teaching me how to ride my first bicycle. I dreamed of a waffle eating contest and racing in the park. When I spoke to my mother about these dreams, her response gave me hope. ‘Don’t worry honey. Those are his dreams!’