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The Understated Affection of Fathers, An Ode to Mine

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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MUJ chapter.

Content Warning: The following piece has been written from a personal perspective of the author.

In the tapestry of familial love, the role of fathers often takes a backseat, overshadowed by the more overtly expressive nature of maternal affection. However, the quiet, understated love that fathers provide is a powerful force that shapes the emotional landscape of their children. In families, dads show their deep love in subtle ways, like a gentle background melody in a song. While everyone often talks about the expressive love from moms, it’s important to notice the quiet strength, sacrifices, and ongoing support dads give. Dads are more than just providers; they hold a hidden well of affection that shapes how their kids feel.

Understanding his affection might be a challenge, as he doesn’t express it in the same way as your mother does. However, he manifests his love through his actions. Your mental image of him as stern and authoritative is merely a reflection of his role as the family leader and manager. His control is aimed at ensuring the family’s affairs run smoothly. Even when he disciplines you or appears harsh, it’s because he understands the importance of learning from mistakes to foster improvement and growth.  They may have their own reasons for behaving that way but the reality still remains the same, it is always difficult for fathers to express themselves the way mothers do.

Whether one acknowledges it or not, he’s been the unsung hero of your whole life. They are the ones who gave their whole life to their children without expecting anything(not even verbal acknowledgments) from them.

Our dads have never expected to be recognized or celebrated, and that’s exactly why they should be.

My father devoted himself to hard work, striving to provide me with everything I desired in life. He showed great enthusiasm for my aspirations, shaping my journey. Reflecting on my life, I realize that every effort he made was for my well-being. He directed my energies and emotions toward positive paths, encouraging optimism and a problem-solving mindset instead of dwelling on challenges. I’ve come to deeply appreciate his wisdom and genuine concern for my welfare. He sees a part of himself reflected in his children, and he is aware of their strengths, anxieties, feelings, and other aspects of their personalities. From the moment we are born, our dads have become an integral part of our lives. You can pick out pieces of him in every part of yourself; the way to walk, the way to talk, the way you eat, the way you sleep, the way you react to certain things.

You can’t be half the person you are today without the efforts of a man who has worked all his life without expecting anything in return. Behind every quiet moment of financial stability or a warm home, lies the unspoken sacrifice of fathers who tirelessly strive to create a haven for their loved ones. This silent devotion often goes unnoticed, as fathers willingly take on the responsibility of ensuring the well-being of their families without seeking acknowledgment.

Fathers are the unsung heroes who lead by example.

Through their actions, they instill values, ethics, and principles that become the moral compass for their children. While mothers may be vocal about their guidance, fathers often communicate their wisdom through deeds, setting a standard for their children to emulate. This silent guidance becomes the foundation upon which children build their characters and navigate life’s challenges.

I find myself grappling with unnecessary worries all the time, be it about my college life, future, career, or various other concerns. My dad lets me vent and spill all of my frustrations and fears. The ones that have no solutions. The ones I feel like I can’t fix by myself. The ones I don’t want him to fix. He just sits there and listens to it all. And when all is said and done, what does he do? He laughs. He finds it comical that my fear would toy with my brain so much so that I’ve forgotten that the fear belongs to me. It is in my control. I’ve created the tornado that I’m so desperately trying to get out of. He re-injects me with a grounding sense of personhood. He lets me take a breath and realize I’m human. I’m imperfect, and that’s just what the doctor ordered.

One of the key lessons ingrained in me as I grew up is the importance of making decisions that resonate with my own values and beliefs, without being swayed by external influences. In today’s society, fixated on chasing trends, my dad’s teachings resonate more strongly than ever. He imparted the value of finding contentment in decisions that authentically reflect who we are. Every day, I see a reflection of his teachings in the world around me, what felt like a harsh parenting style, turned out to be a blessing in disguise in this harsh world. People around me know how I probably can’t get through a day’s conversation without mentioning him somewhere, that there is nothing but unsaid appreciation in my heart for him.

Dads are more than just providers; they hold a hidden well of affection that shapes how their kids feel.

From commercials and sitcoms that show fathers as bumbling idiots to the trope that men who take care of their kids are “babysitting,” dads are constantly getting the short end of the stick. And heaven forbid a father tries to take time off from a career to focus on his family, oh no no how all the aunties would crumble. But my dad was different, I always noticed that growing up. He has always been very hands-on with our upbringing, being up to date with our lives, helping with exam preps, taking me to sports tournaments and never missing a school function.

That’s why I’m so glad to have a father who breaks the mold: someone who knows better than to buy into the bullsh*t and someone who has no problem with being there for me. Through all my ups and downs, backs and forths, and trips across the country, he’s always been only a phone call away if I needed him. Someone who came to my high school plays, someone who wasn’t afraid to give me just enough room to grow and learn as I stumbled through college, and someone who answered all my never-ending questions growing up. And most of all, the type of someone who wouldn’t hesitate to remind me of the power of love when it’s needed most—when the darkness and hurt seem so wide and deep.

Thank you for being someone I can adore and look up to.

"People always tell introverts to be more talkative and leave their comfort zones, yet no one tells extroverts to shut up to make the zone comfortable" Aditi Thakur is a 3rd year Computer Science student at Manipal University Jaipur. She deeply believes in less perfection and more authenticity. She is usually spilling her entire personal life online through her different Instagram accounts but is the biggest introvert in person. Give her access to K-pop, k-dramas and books and she might even survive an apocalypse.