A great amount of my Facebook friends and acquaintances posted pictures of themselves with their dads yesterday (Father’s Day). That many of these pictures were taken when most of my contacts were children particularly called my attention. Childhood for lots of people represents the magic world where dad and mom are our superheroes who know everything and will never disappoint us; as a consequence, posting happy pictures of this idealized lost world seems quite logical. Fewer contacts, in contrast, shared recent pictures with their fathers (some of them even took them just yesterday). I guess in certain cases, they didn’t have recent photos because their fathers are not here anymore. And even in fewer cases, some people shared pictures of their moms since a number of mothers perform both roles (mother and father) very bravely nowadays.
Because this is a blog about photography, all these Facebook postings encouraged me to select and share diverse pictures of my dad taken during my most recent visit to Lima (December 25th -January 6th). First of all, he was born in Trujillo, Peru, on January 5th, 1943, so when I was born he was already 42 years old. Funny story: Jesús is the name of both of us, so for my family and relatives I am Pablo and he is Jesús (my middle name is Juan Pablo; I was born in 1985 when Pope John Paul II visited Peru for the first time).
He used to work as an accountant for the Health Sector of the Peruvian National Police, and retired almost a decade ago. Although he is not a crazy churchy man, he is very religious. That’s why, before coming back to the States, I decided to give him a saint card as a gift (St. Jerome, patron of philologists and translators, two of my tasks as a graduate student).
My parents don’t live together (when I go back to Peru, I stay with my mom); nevertheless, they see each other every day for dinner and during weekends they spend most of the day together, so it’s quite clear that they love and care for the other one a lot. I guess living together doesn’t work for them and if they are happy with that status quo, I respect that.
One of my dad’s traditions is his “entrada triunfal” (triumphal entrance): whenever we eat out, the first picture my mom and I take needs to capture my father waving his hand to say hi while he “enters” the restaurant.
If you shared a photo of your dad yesterday, don’t do it just once a year every Father’s Day. Instead, try to do it whenever you want and without any particular reason. Your dad, alive or dead, will definitely smile lovingly…