I’ve always had a special relationship with my father. As the oldest child and the athlete of the family, I bonded with Dad over sports and a shared love of food. He’s my go-to resource when I need career advice, car maintenance tips, or any other guidance. I’m a “Daddy’s girl,” but I never knew how sentimental my father was until my mother shared something with me a year ago.
“I think Dad is going through some sort of mid-life crisis,” she mused, playfully.
“Oh, yeah?” I replied. “What did he say this time?”
“He said that he’s going to be sad when you get married, because that means he’ll no longer be the number one man in your life.”
Mom and I joked about Dad’s statement, but I was touched by his surprising confession. I’ve always viewed him as the confident protector and family provider – not someone who ever feels scared or unsure.
Last weekend, my father met N. It was the first time I’d ever introduced a significant other to my family, so I felt slightly anxious. But N, with his good nature and charisma, got along famously with everyone. My parents had nothing but positive words to say about him. Fast-forward to yesterday morning. After getting ready for work, I discovered that my car wouldn’t start. Already texting N at the time, I explained my issue. I’m a complete novice with mechanics, so a mild panic began to form. N immediately called and walked me through the process while simultaneously calming my nerves. Later that evening, I spoke with my mother on the phone.
“I’m so glad your car is fixed. By the way, Dad was sad that you went to N for help instead of him,” she revealed, letting out a soft laugh.
I empathized with my poor sweet father. He was again experiencing that same feeling of insecurity about forfeiting his place as the number one man. But, I remember the exact moment when I realized his insecurity had started to turn into pride. Dad is an avid Facebook user who thoughtfully crafts every status update. He gets excited about “likes” and comments, and he carefully selects which photos he shares with the world. I randomly visited his page, and a single photo highlighted on his timeline caught my eye. My father had posted a picture of N and me. “N and K came to visit us for an October birthday celebration,” his caption proudly stated.
Discovering that Dad chose to display a photo of N made me smile. He was finally ready to pass the torch.