Mpho Tutu: Why I am proud of my father

Mpho Tutu, writing in The Huffington Post, tells why she is proud of her father, Archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu:

My earliest vivid memory is that my father was proud of me. It’s just a fragment of memory. I must have been three or four years old. I was kneeling on a padded chair, my arms supported by a desk. I remember the roughness of the seat fabric under my knees. My father and an uncle were coaching me through the labor of writing my name. I remember my father’s delighted pride in my accomplishment.

He was always ready with delight and pride, perhaps because I am the youngest of four, and because by the time I came along he had relaxed into parenting. My brother and sisters had filed smooth some of the rougher edges of his fathering. And my father was easy with me. My mother says that he was so easy with me that she knew I would be their last child.

My father took me seriously. When I watch Joe settle down to listen to the complicated details of our teenager’s day, there is an expression I remember from my father’s face. When I see Joe’s grave attention to the stories our four-year-old constructs, I glimpse something I saw in my father before. My heart remembers how important it was to be important enough to make my dad pause and listen. I remember feeling myself grow 10 inches taller as I saw my father pause for intrigued thought before he could respond to my comments and queries.

Read more here

What memories do you have of your father?

Past Posts