This was previously published on The Real Matt Daddy.
Looking over my relationship with my dad, a great window to his parenting style happened the day after my twenty-first birthday. My brother had taken me out for two very fruit-filled drinks (since I am such a wild man), and pain woke me up the following morning after barely four hours of sleep. This was a relentless pain that numbed my mind to everything … except the pain. I was not a drinker, so I thought that maybe it was just a hangover.
As the minutes crept by, I decided that something was very wrong, and I needed help. I lived alone, and, having grown accustomed to being able to walk, my only phone was located in the kitchen. I fell out of bed and started crawling across the floor, laughing to myself, thinking that I wouldn’t make it to the phone. I don’t know why I found it funny, and every chuckle hurt.
I finally made it to the phone and frantically called my dad, unsure of what state I would be in when he arrived. Before long, he was there with a strong shoulder to lean on, and I hobbled outside to figure out the least painful way to climb into his SUV.
My dad is not cheap, and he was very aware that I needed to be seen by a doctor, but while I squirmed in the front seat, praying for relief, he managed to stop twice before arriving at the hospital. First we came to a private doctor’s office that was clearly not open at five in the morning, and then we landed at one of those limited care places who wanted nothing to do with me after discovering enough blood in my urine to attract a sparkly vampire.
In the end, it was a nasty kidney stone. It took years for me to realize how that day really summed up my dad as a parent. He will always try. He will always do everything he can think of to keep his kids happy and healthy even now that we’re all grown.
The next morning I was in serious agony yet again, and called my dad to say it was time to head back to the hospital. He actually yelled at me saying, “If you had just stayed at my house, you would be fine!”
To his very soul, he thinks he has the power to protect all of his children from everything in the world. He will always try to do anything we need of him, and even if his methods include a very pain-filled one hour detour, he does it because he loves us. He tries with every fiber of his being, and I love that about him.
Read more in the Real Fatherhood series.
Image of a man having trouble sleeping courtesy of Shutterstock