Parenting Blog

I Am My Father’s Son (or A Quiet Demonstration of a Dad’s Love Told Through Hockey Scores and Newspaper Ink Before The Sun Would Rise on a Tuesday)

A Dad's Love

I crashed at my parents’ place earlier this week so that I could drive my dad and mom down to Philly for his pre-dawn appointment.

Unrelated, the Red Wings had recently won two games on the bounce while out in western Canada. My dad knew this, he knew that they had beaten the Oilers and Canucks.

He knew that my all-time favorite sports team had climbed above .500.

There was no reason at all for my dad to know this, not ever, but especially not hours before a critical procedure would begin.

I can imagine my dad checking the NHL’s Atlantic Division standings in the newspaper in the morning, the paper he still gets delivered daily, the paper that’s still rolled and wrapped in colorful plastic and dropped at the bottom of their long sloping driveway every morning before the sun rises, the same driveway I fell hard upon while playing street hockey in a Red Wings jersey in an ice storm when I was 11.

He drove me to the hospital back then.

There he is, sitting in his favorite chair, black ink being impressed onto his fingers as he held the paper, folded at its halfway crease, with a dominate left hand that’s not as steady as it was when it would hold my right as we walked into hockey arenas together decades prior.

I can imagine he checked the NHL Atlantic Division standings in the newspaper on the morning of the day I was coming over to crash in my childhood bed so that he could say to me that my team was doing alright, not because he thought I wouldn’t know this, but rather so that he could demonstrate to me that he did.

He wanted to demonstrate that he cares about something I care about so much (ahem, too much) and have since I was a young boy.

This kind of thoughtfulness, this wish and willingness to bond with me over that which brings me joy is not and has never been lost on me. Underappreciated at times, yes, but my dad’s love for me has never gone unnoticed.

This exact same quality, of caring about what others care about so that you can better understand and be closer to them, exists in me as a dad, as a friend, and as a husband. I’m so grateful to my dad for placing it there.

I love my father for quietly teaching me, though his meaningful, simple, everyday actions, that putting genuine effort into being knowledgeable of and caring about the interests, hobbies and passions of those you love, those whom you hold dear in this life, is a clear, quietly shouted message of that very love.

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