For the longest time, I guess I thought
He didn’t give a damn
Hard to read, hard to please
Yeah, that was my old man
On the day I left for college
It was nothing new
We never had that heart-to-heart
He had too much to do
He checked the air in my tires
The belts and all the spark plug wires
Said “When the hell’s the last time
“You had this oil changed”
And as I pulled out the drive
He said “Be sure and call your mom sometime”
And I didn’t hear it then
But I hear it now
He was saying “I love you”
(He was saying “I love you”)
The only way he knew how
-Bucky Covington’s, A Father’s Love
I promise this is not another profession of love for country music. I found it as no coincidence that I was awakened by this song on this day set aside for honoring the men in our lives…today is Father’s Day. And to continue the honoring, I have discovered the most Unexpectedly Healthy insight about…dads!
Now let me first start by saying that my dad was never so ‘tough and gruff’ as the song implies. And of course, there are countless ways that dads are obviously healthy: a dad is often a terrific provider; dads are typically handy, which is definitely helpful and healthFUL for the ‘piggy bank;’ and dads are usually unquestionably accountable, which is always useful in tough situations. But the Unexpected Health in dads is that a father’s display of love is often discovered in the unexpected–the less-than-obvious–and realizing the many ‘faces’ of love is healthy.
My dad and I have never had the long-winded, in-depth conversations that my mom and I have. We never sat and talked for hours on end and I didn’t necessarily go to my dad when I was having ‘boy problems’ (which seems weird since he shares the whole gender-thing!). But as I have grown ‘in,’ I have come to realize that dads show their love, support, and appreciation in very Unexpected ways…at least from a daughter’s perspective.
Dads and daughters have a very unique relationship because of our very different lenses for which we view the world with. I am exceptionally lucky because my dad has always been there for me. He was always a smiling face in the bleachers at my sports games (even if it meant sitting on hard, cold gym floors for an entire Saturday watching game after probably boring game of high school volleyball). My dad was home for dinner, and somehow managed to be a coach, a teacher, and a mentor. But it is interesting how, with all of that said, I didn’t see his love as obviously–as expected–as my mom’s. Because I view the world from my ‘female goggles,’ I had a hard time seeing love through another lens…through the glasses of a man.
Men are, by nature, doers. In my experience, men thrive on being able to show love through their ability to be providers for the ones they love. It’s not to say that ALL men were programmed this way, but I have found that most are. As I continue to expand my lens of love, light, and health in this world, I have found that a dad’s profound love for his daughter can sometimes get overlooked because of the often organic understanding and relatedness that moms and daughters have. So the next time you doubt your dad’s love or acceptance, remember that dads may show their love in very unique ways. Just as there is no uniform definition of health, there is not set description of what love looks like. A dad’s love could be as simple as the canister of oil he tucked away in the trunk of your car; or the toolbox he demands you keep nearby ‘just in case’. Love is not always in the ‘big’ things; in fact, sometimes love creates the biggest impact with the small, unexpected details that keep our lives ‘lubed’ up…and today, I thank my dad for that. -Until tomorrow, Jaime
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