The more I’m in the marriage and family realm of the internet the more I’m learning that parents’ greatest impact on their children is often through the simplest conversations.
It’s not always some sit-down discussion, or a five-part Bible study series we did together that makes the biggest impact. Sometimes it’s just the throwaway comments or the questions they ask that can challenge us to make a change.
And I’ve got a great story that shows just that. Usually I write a 400-word “Marriage Moment” on Fridays but I’m on tour today and I just don’t have the time! So instead Doreen Frick joins us with a heart-warming story of how her dad talked to her about love. I just love this one!
Back when I was fourteen Dad and I did a lot of back and forth together.
He’d drive me to choir practice, since we both sang. It was a long drive, and we often sang along with the radio. I was into what was popular, and Dad was not. Sometimes he’d slip in an eight-track with music he loved, like Hank Williams. The first Hank, the one that died in the back of his Caddy. Or Peter, Paul and Mary. Funny how I can still hear Dad singing, “We’re Going to the Zoo” like he was a little kid excited to be going. He didn’t know it, but he would be a little kid again when I would marry four years later, have a couple of kids, and he’d take them to the zoo.
Dad never got a chance to go to the zoo as a kid because he grew up in a school/home for boys without fathers. But the funny thing about that isn’t how much he enjoyed my kids, was how much he enjoyed me, as a kid. He often told Mom that we kids never cried, and she’d roll her eyes as if to say, Where were you when they woke up in the middle of the night? Well that was simple, Dad was traveling. Dad was oblivious. Dad was unaware.
On one trip together Dad and went to Wildwood, New Jersey so he could hold a business meeting. I guess that’s what it was, I was too young to pay much attention to what he was doing there, but I remember the trip home in the dark and the music on the radio. Glen Campbell was singing Gentle on my Mind. And of course since Glen was also on television a lot that year I thought his music was right up my alley, and of course those kinds of things stay with a person. Glen is still right up my alley. But then again, I was a kid who was also thinking and dreaming about my future. And what it was I wanted in it.Dad had never spoken up about my music and the edgier groups that made their way into my world because Dad loved music.
But he also loved me.
Me, his starry-eyed wishful thinking, naive daughter who was looking for her Prince Charming and her happily-ever-after fairy tale world she still believed existed. During the song where Glen sings, “I’ll keep my sleeping bag rolled up and stashed behind your couch,” Dad interrupted, and said, “Doreen, do you know what that means?”
Now you might laugh here, but think back to your innocence. I remember as if it were yesterday a new thought whispering in my head: He doesn’t want to marry her! I still love that song after forty-four years of marriage, because that line will never leave me.
It was the first and only talk about love and what I wanted in love that never went any further than Dad asking one simple question. A question I did not answer, and he did not elaborate on.
But that talk lingered in my heart.
Later, when I did meet boys who I knew weren’t marriage material, I left the door open for the one who was. I met that boy/man when I was sixteen, and yes, he did once suggest we just move in together. I couldn’t tell if he was kidding. I knew what I wanted and told him so. He knew it too. And he was young, maybe testing the waters, but we both knew there would never be a sleeping bag rolled up and stashed behind my couch.
I never told my husband the story of me and Dad and the Glen Campbell song. He’d probably get a kick out of it. We’re old-fashioned that’s for sure. For a child growing up in the sixties, the only thing that really rubbed off on me were the bell-bottoms and the music and the passion of believing. And it’s a passion that has never grown old or up, just more focused. I let the times roll as they will, with no judgment or shaking fingers at those who’ve done it differently. They have more guts than I do. We all have to listen to our guts sometimes, and our hearts at others. Someone once told me to listen to your heart because it will lead you in good places. I guess I have, and always will. Thanks Dad. Thanks Glen. Thanks heart.
What’s #1 at To Love, Honor and Vacuum?
This week, let’s look at marriage, love, and ways you can show your husband you’re ready for some intimate time together. Check it out in the Tops of the Blog!
#1 Post on the Blog: The Turning Point In A Marriage
#5 on the Blog Overall: 4 Reasons Why Your Husband Doesn’t Want To Make Love
#1 from Facebook: How To Spice Things Up Without 50 Shades Of Grey
#1 from Pinterest: Sexy Stocking Stuffers For Your Husband
I’m on tour!
We’re all over the place with this one–I’m touring a few churches in Ontario then flying out to BC! Make sure you don’t miss me if I come to your town! Check out my speaking schedule here!
Bummed that I’m not coming to your city? You can fix that by hiring me to speak at your church! My Girl Talk event is a ton of fun, so if you want to bring that fun to your church you can let me know here.
Something I’m excited about…
My daughter Rebecca has been working for me for the last three months doing a lot of the background work that makes this blog run smoothly. And I love it because I hate background work so I can just get her to do it instead!
She’s written a few posts for me in the past, and since so many of my readers are young newlywed couples, Rebecca’s going to start writing a Millennial Marriage segment every week here on To Love Honor and Vacuum! It’s amazing for me, as a mother and someone in marriage-related ministry, to see my daughter joining me on this mission. So you can look forward to seeing her around more!
Here are some other series for you to read: