Retrospective. That word has always given my dad trouble, and always thrown the rest of us into fits of laughter. He just cannot pronounce it right, no matter how hard he tries. When he tries to say the word, he ends up saying something that is filled with the letter “s” and sounds like “Resrospes…” before he erupts in laughter.
In the days before he got his doctorate degree, before his presentations, he would have us all sit in the living room like a panel of judges while he went over his speech about three times. After several of such mock presentations, we usually knew most of his speech by heart, and whenever he got to the part where he had to say “Retrospective”, we would all struggle to keep a straight face because we knew what was coming. My dad would ‘chew’ the word hastily and talk past it because he was being timed, but afterwards, as we made corrections, we would all laugh. He would say exasperatedly in Yorùbá, “That word! I can’t pronounce it, I guess my tongue is too big!” The word is still a joke today, but anytime we laugh for too long about it, my dad retorts, “My friends, I didn’t have an English Language teacher in secondary school, yet my English is this sound. You should be applauding me.”
He is getting older now, and he talks from time to time of some dreams he nursed when he was younger, and how dreams change as one grows older. He says his biggest dream now is to watch his children succeed and make him proud. I really want us to make him proud, so that he can say later in life, “Retrospectively, I have had a good life so far. I have achieved my dreams, I am appreciated by my family, and my children have made me proud.”
I just hope he will not burst into laughter while saying “Retrospectively.”
Tyc, this is for you. HAPPY FATHERS’ DAY.
P.S: How did you celebrate Fathers’ Day? Share something funny about your dad, will you?
Thank you for reading.