It is funny that in the world love is portrayed by little red hearts, flowers, and romantic images. Love is nothing like that for me. I try to express love on a daily basis. But to each person it is expressed differently and really hearts and roses are rarely involved in most expressions of love. That is probably because most of the love in our life is not the romantic type. Most of the love that I have to give is sucked up by family and friends. And though that is expressed differently with each person, it all comes down to one simple principle of why we love. It would take to many pages to give examples of all the different relationships in our lives, so today I am focusing on dads.
Earlier this week was an example of how my dad and I have interacted for the past 30 years. Becky, Emmett and I were driving home from a weekend in California. A little beach time to start the summer off right. About 2 hours from home our car decided it had enough and we found ourselves stranded on I-15 in central Utah. Almost out of habit, the first person I called was my dad. Knowing that he was in Idaho and would not be able to do much from there, I knew that he would give me direction and let me carry out what needs to be done. After listening to me babble about what happened for a few minutes he calmly gave me some suggestions and said good luck. That was all I needed and after a few more calls and some time hanging out it Fillmore Utah, we were on our way home. The next day he made his way to central Utah with me to retrieve the car. never once acting put off or unwilling to do anything to help.
My dad has always given me opportunities to grow and learn for myself, but he has always pointed me in the right direction to make sure my chances for success increased dramatically. Whether it was car problems, house projects, or career advice, he always strikes that perfect balance between telling me what to do and letting me figure it out on my own. This has led to amazing conversations that can last a long time as well as long periods of silence while sitting next to each other. There are not a lot of hugs exchanged or flowery messages or gifts. But laughter, insight and basic knowledge about life is always abundant. Our language of love is based on the mutual respect we have for each other and knowledge that we are a good team and should take every opportunity to work and play together. Which we do.
I hope to be as good of a father to my son as my dad is for me. But right now our language of love is so much different. If I want Emmett to know how much I love him I do it through grilled cheese, water guns and rescue stuff. Also by sharing my passions with him and teaching him the importance of adventure. Oh yeah there is also rough housing. Nothing says I love you like a body slam to the bed and getting beat with a pillow. Every night when Emmett goes to bed I say ” I love you buddy. You’re my best friend.” He always repeats it right back to me. I don’t think he knows what it means. He just knows it as part of the bedtime routine. He knows I love him because we have deep discussions about fire trucks and potato bugs. We have our secrets from mom and sneak each other candy from grandmas candy stash. But most important, as with my father, our language of love is based on the mutual respect we have for each other and knowledge that we are a good team and should take every opportunity to work and play together. Which we do. At least the play part.
If you were to illustrate expressions of dad love in my life there would probably be a picture of an extra gooey grilled cheese sandwich, late nights driving someplace, early mornings in the mountains and home improvement projects. Try to paint that picture and pass it off as a classic love scene. Most people would think it was complete randomness. But if I saw something like that, it would bring a tear to my eye. It would be speaking my language.
Next week, Love Language Part Dudes.