Sometimes, we don’t realize how much we were loved until it’s our turn to love our own children.
Japanese Twitter artist @yakiunooniityan has a pretty interesting source of inspiration for his artwork . When he hears a particularly funny, interesting, or touching story from another Internet user, he chronicles the tale in manga form.
One of his most recent comics has been tugging at the heartstrings of his followers. Shown below, it spans decades, relaying the experiences of three generations of a family going out to eat.
【毎日更新】なんJ民のお絵かき (@yakiunooniityan) March 06, 2017
In the first half of the story, seen in the four left panels visible in the tweet, we see the narrator (represented by what appears to be a chicken) and his father (an orange, frog-like creature).
The narration reads:
My dad has passed away, but he used to take me out to eat often.
The food always tasted good, but my dad ate really fast, and when he was done, we would sit there and stare at me. He’d watch me eating, with a look on his face like he was angry.
It was like he was saying “Hurry up and eat,” so I’d feel kind of bad.
So the other day I took my son out to a ramen restaurant for the first time.
The second half of the story, seen in the right four panels, continues with:
He loved the ramen, chowing down on it with all his might before stopping to take a big gulp of water.
He had his little hands wrapped around the bowl, panting because he’d been eating so quickly.
It’s at this point in the story that we come to the second panel from the right along the top row, in which the narrator, now an adult, is intensely watching his son eat, while thinking to himself “He’s just so cute.”
But the boy takes a look at the narrator’s expression, and suddenly asks:
“Hey, why are you staring at me? Are you angry?”
And then it all becomes clear for the narrator. His own father wasn’t mad at him for eating too slowly. He was simply entranced as he watched his seriously (literally) cute son eat his meal.
“Dad…” the narrator finished, with the sudden revelation framing a key part of his childhood in a different light.
Hopefully the narrator filled his kid in on what he was thinking, to avoid a similar misunderstanding. And while he probably wishes he’d known wat was going on in his own father’s head a little sooner, it’s good to know that even once our parents pass on, life still presents us with opportunities to feel connected to them.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he always just assumed people were staring at him in restaurants because he’s a messy eater.