Are Dads really all that important? Are they not just the ones who bring home the money so that Mom can do her job? This seems to still be a common stereotype in our society – bloggers Carli and Dana answered June’s Question Of The Month:
What’s Dad Got To Do With It?
I was driving down the street last week, and the car in front of me turned on his signal to make a left hand turn into his driveway. Awkwardly, there were a million cars coming the opposite direction so he had to sit there and wait, while subsequently creating a lineup of cars behind him. I didn’t mind, because I wasn’t in a rush and it was a beautiful day. As I sat there, with the windows down, I saw that this man’s children had come outside on the front lawn and were cheering, “DADDY’S HOME! DADDY’S HOME!” They were jumping up and down and non-stop screaming in pure excitement that their dad was about to pull in the driveway. It made me remember that my sister and I used to do the same thing when our dad came home from work. We would be cheering in the backyard waiting for him to open the gate and greet us. For some reason, I don’t remember ever cheering for my mom to come home, which is weird. It was always my dad. (Sorry Mom, I love you too!). There was just something really exciting about dad coming home.
This got me thinking about our theme for June: “What’s dad got to do with it?” Dads are interesting to me. Maybe because I’m not a guy. I will never know what it’s like to be a dad. I feel like it must be awesome, but also weird. I imagine being any type of parent is hard, but I could see dad being a particularly hard one. Everyone I know has a very different relationship with their dad, and each dad is a different “type” of dad. No two relationships are quite the same when it comes to dads (in my inner circle, at least). Even my relationship with my dad is very different from my sister’s. It’s odd because, although everyone’s relationship with their mother is different, there are some very common mom-child relationships. I think my sister and I have the same type of relationship with our mom. Dads always seem to be a little different, and I don’t know why. I mean, moms are there, taking care of you from the beginning like it’s no one’s business; and that maternal instinct is just so strong. I don’t know how dads feel or compare when it comes to their paternal instinct. Moms are tough to beat; maybe it’s because traditionally they have become more nurturing and loving?
My dad was a great dad. He wasn’t the most lovey-dovey dad, he was a pretty serious guy but was always there for my sister and I and always said I love you. It’s strange that a lot of people don’t get the “I love you” from a parent, more specifically from the father. He was very into athletics and health. He was busy and had a lot of things he liked to do: he was a rower and a rowing coach his entire life. He took my sister and I out in the coach boat every day during coaching season. He bought us snow cones after (if we were good), or donuts on Sunday mornings (again, if we were good). He drove us to our friend’s houses, gave us our allowance, and made us do our chores. He taught how to canoe, kayak, camp, and signed us up for art classes. He was hard on my sister and I sometimes. We got into a lot of fights during the teenage years. I remember I had some of my girlfriends over, and my dad had just finished a work out in the basement. He came up to get a glass of water in his tight spandex shorts, and nothing else. I WAS MORTIFIED! But once he went back downstairs, my one friend said, “I don’t think my dad even owns a pair of spandex shorts.” Once again, MORTIFIED. But hey, that was my dad.
As a female, I think it’s natural to draw away from your father a little more when you get older. I went from celebrating his coming home from work to having a more distant relationship. I didn’t need him as much; I was doing my own thing. I relied on my friends more for support because they seemed to understand me more. Looking back, all the “tough” times I’ve had in my life, it was my dad who gave me some of the best and brutally honest advice. I will never forget the things he has told me during my darkest moments. Recently I started #hardcoreadulting, and all these big life moments were happening, and it was all happening really fast. I was feeling overwhelmed, and the person I wanted to talk to and ask for advice was my dad. These things were happening, and I was making my own decisions, but I wanted my dad’s approval. I love my mom, but I knew I need to talk to my dad about this stuff. I needed his opinion. I know I will be relying on him a lot as this “adulting” continues, and I hope he knows how much I respect him and how highly I think of him. I may not be jumping up and down when he comes home from work anymore, but I’m very glad and extremely appreciative that he is always there for me. So what’s dad got to do with it? The answer is for me and my life, a whole lot!