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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mr Grizzly and Grandpa Grizzly

Mr Grizzly is my building contractor. He is a young-ish man with an air of eagerness and sincerity about him. He has the quality few young people have of knowing how to hesitate and wait. And he is gentle and he is kind.

But when Grandpa Grizzly comes by to inspect the house, a subtle coldness comes over Mr Grizzly. Grandpa Grizzly was the one who started the building construction company his son now runs. As the older man gives over the reins of the business to his son, they share a conflicted relationship.

Grandpa Grizzly likes to dispense advice (which I appreciate and seriously consider because it is often very wise). Often, as Grandpa Grizzly expounds on the merits of this or that, one can feel cold waves of disapproval cascade off the tall frame of Mr Grizzly, as he stands there too respectful to publicly disagree with his Father... and too much his own man to pretend to agree.

In some moments of pique, Grandpa Grizzly confides that the two have yelling matches wherein Mr Grizzly tells his father "I am now in charge. At work, you do what I say. If you wanna be my Dad, that can wait till after 7pm. Now go and make sure that the external walls are properly waterproofed."

"He is a bad boy" says Grandpa Grizzly, "but he is my son and if he asks, I must help. I have more than 30 years of experience in building. If I don't help him, who can?" Then, in his unguarded moments, Grandpa Grizzly's eyes shine with pride even as he complains about the son who will be his own man, and walk his own path, outside of his father's shadow. "My son is a university graduate" says Grandpa Grizzly. "My son does what he says he will do. He is a man of his word," says he.

Mr Grizzly is tight-lipped about his father. I imagine that Grandpa Grizzly was old school and tough on his son. Corporal punishment and loud scoldings would have been part of his childhood. I suppose there must be some resentment? Meanwhile Mr Grizzly's silent loyalty to his father speaks well of the family ties that bind them both, each to the other.

It is a very interesting relationship.

10 comments:

Blur Ting said...

It is the kind of relationship that is very common in Singapore.

Theanne and Baron said...

I believe it comes with parenting and being a grown up child...the letting go, from both sides...father and son! The transition is often not easy but it has to happen. The old giving way to the new. I believe it happens with each new generation.

daelight said...

mayhaps a parallel to a more prominent father-son relationship in focus now?

Malar said...

Ting is right. It's common in Malaysia too!

Malar said...

This is very common here too! Giving in is the key for it!

Malar said...

hi! away on holiday? or busy? It's been long since you post something!

petunialee said...

Malar - Thanks for your concern. Yup! I've been kinda busy...

petunialee said...

daelight - I hadn't thought of it but yes... you may be right there!!

petunialee said...

Ting - Oh... is it? I've not really encountered it myself but then I dunno many father-son pairs!!

petunialee said...

Theanne - Yup! You're the experienced Momma talking!!