Small acts of love

When I was younger, I spent quite a while away from my family at school. It was back in the days where we didn’t have email, but postal mail – which wasn’t known as “snail mail” but just “mail” (or “post” in the UK).

I was brought up by fairly traditional parents where my dad was the breadwinner and my mum was a stay at home mum (although she did do some part time work as we got older). They were also traditional in the way that my mum was the more nurturing one and my dad was a bit more – not cold, but slightly more distant. (Although my mother liked to think she could say things like, “Wait till your father gets home!” if we were naughty, she never cottoned onto the fact that he was a lot less scary than she was!)

So generally my mother was always the one who gave the instant feedback and the “I love you” and compliments. My dad was more of the, “What are you going to do for a career?” and, “What did you score in that exam?” and, “How many people were ahead of you?” type. It’s not to say he wasn’t proud of us, but I knew his pride was quite conditional on doing well. Which I duly did.

As is typical for a lot of families, if we ever spoke on the phone, it would be picked up by my dad who would exchange brief pleasantries followed by the inevitable, “I’ll get your mother.”

My mum was the one who took us shopping, brought us to appointments, and took us to the doctor if we needed a doctor. Most of the time, my dad would be working. Because they were quite traditional in their roles, you’d be forgiven for thinking my dad wasn’t the lovey dovey type.

And yet.

When I was away at school, every few months I’d receive an envelope. It would be stuffed, slightly. More than a letter.

And inside, there would be a stack of comic strips. Every day I was away, my dad would take a pair of scissors to the newspaper and cut out my favourite comic strip and add it to the pile. And every few months he would send me the pile of comic strips. Just that – maybe a short note, but certainly nothing flowery or demonstrative… apart from a small reminder of how he had thought about me and remembered the comic strip I loved, every single day I was away.

And what was the comic I loved? It was called Adam – about a suburban dad who loves his family.

It’s taken me 20-odd years to realise that that bundle of comic strips was my dad telling me he loved me.


   

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20 comments

  1. My Perfect Breakdown

    This is so sweet! And, made me think of my husbands father who STILL keeps all the newspaper comics and sends this to my husband. My husband doesn’t have the heart to tell him he no longer reads them after 17 years of this.

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    • Nara

      Aww! That’s so sweet. I always did like reading the comics my dad sent me! Also just the thought of him clipping them carefully out of the paper. (He was always so exact.) I think to all parents, their children are always their children…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. sewingbutterfly

    Oh that is so sweet! Sometimes we forget the small acts that people do that remind us they care. My husband isn’t into big flashy gestures or is overly sappy, but it is the little things, turning on the heater in winter when he leaves for work so when I get up the house is warm, or rearranging work to be at our OB appointments, even those that last 5 minutes etc.

    Small acts of love make the world a nicer place ❤

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    • Nara

      I agree. I think my dad has only ever told me he loved me once. Or maybe twice. But he always did these little things to show it.
      T on the other hand is super demonstrative and expressive, which I like!
      I’m all for small acts of love wherever they come from! X

      Liked by 1 person

  3. stealingnectar

    I am seriously crying reading that! That is soooooo sweet!!!! I can completely imagine this. My dad is much the same way. Never says, “I love you,” but much more apt to cry or cherish (or give) a moment/gift/card. So sweet!

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    • Nara

      Aww I didn’t mean to make you cry! Yes my dad is the same. I think he’s told me he loves me once or twice in my whole life (compared with my mum who says it at the end of every phone call!) but I remember the little things he did and I think, he does love me.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dubliner in Deutschland

    Lovely memory. Growing up neither of my parents were the type to say the words I love you but you just knew you were loved and you could also tell from little gestures. For instance whenever I was out babysitting my Mum would wrap my pjs around a hot water bottle before I got home so they’d be warm for me.

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    • Nara

      Aww that’s so sweet! My mum and dad are opposites really. My mum says it all the time but my dad – pretty much never. I think they’re just from a different time where people didn’t say it much! I like the idea of a hot water bottle! X

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