Written By:  Kathy Glow

Growing up, I didn’t feel like I knew my dad very well. My parents were not divorced, and it wasn’t as if he was an absentee father.

But he was a man of few words who worked six days a week as a maintenance worker for a steel plant. When he wasn’t working, he was “resting” from working all day.

This is not to say my father was lazy – not in the least. He also cared for our house and lawn, fixing everything himself, even our family cars. He spent a lot of time in his workshop behind the garage, although I was never really sure what he was doing in there. He also did a lot of favors for all of the elderly neighbors in our neighborhood.

My childhood memories of him include the times that he was the last word on discipline. When my brother, sister, and I had failed to listen to our mother, my father’s gruff threats to “get the yardstick” put us in our place (although none of us to this day knows what that yardstick feels like).

I did get spanked once for tattling on my brother. I was never sure if that was my dad’s way of making a point, or if I had simply “bothered” him too much.

And that was the thing – I didn’t want to bother him. Sometimes, when he was relaxing in his chair, we would sneak up on him and pull his socks off just to annoy him. Or when he was reading the paper, we would hit the back of it just to get his attention. 

He was constantly yelling at us to turn off lights and t.v.s and close the refrigerator door. He would get on our cases about sleeping in too late on Saturdays.

I definitely would not have considered myself a “daddy’s girl” growing up. In fact, I remember once asking my mom if it would be okay if I told my dad I loved him. Shocked, she said, “I think he would really like it if you did.”

When I was fourteen, our beloved family dog died, and I was heartbroken, sobbing in my bed. My dad came into my room, layed down with me, and hugged me, sobbing as well. This is the first time I remember feeling like I saw a glimpse of the man he truly was, whether he was crying about the dog or because his daughter was broken-hearted.

Today, at age 42, I can’t believe how many signs of his love I missed. 

I remember that he would trim my hair every once and a while. I would sit on the bottom basement step, and he would cut it straight across. I always had long hair because my dad loved it.

The plant where my father worked would frequently shut down, leaving him temporarily unemployed. He used his pick-up truck to haul trash to the dump to make extra money, which was used for sending us to Catholic school. It couldn’t have been easy to set his pride aside and work for people he knew, but he did it for us.

I worked hard all through high school and college to earn good grades and scholarships and to stay out of trouble. I never thought my dad noticed much until one afternoon, while I was attending graduate school, a neighbor remarked that my dad had been “bragging” about me. All of his coworkers at the plant knew I was in grad school as well.

When I was working teaching school all day, he would frequently take my car from the teachers’ parking lot and wash it or change the oil or perform some other general maintenance on it. He’d have it back in the same spot before I even knew it was gone.

My marriage to Rick was another proud moment in his life. I don’t know if it bothered him or not that Rick didn’t ask his permission, but my dad has never treated him with anything but love and respect (and some good-natured ribbing). Nowadays, they can sit and fish for hours, not talking, and both say it was a great day.

Most importantly, he adores my boys. They light up like Christmas trees every time Papa comes over. He has come on outings and trips with us, changed diapers, and been at my house at a moment’s notice, all without questioning anything.

Now that I am a parent, I understand him so much more. When I was growing up, he was stressed about providing for his family. He was serious about instilling morals and values into his children. And sometimes he was holding his breath to see how it would all turn out.

I can’t believe that I ever doubted his love for me, but sometimes I see that reflected in my sons’ eyes about their dad.

Their dad who works long hours and comes home tired.

Who yells at them to close doors and not air-condition the outdoors.

Who gets on their cases about their behavior in public.

Who lectures them about taking care of their possessions.

Who tells them no (gasp!) sometimes.

But, and I would bet money on this, that when they are grown and look back on their childhood, they will laugh about all that, and see instead the times he did something special with them, like camp in the backyard or fish off the dock in Okoboji. They will hear his advice in their ears, they will remember that he was at every one of their games or special events, and they will know how hard he worked to provide the best of everything for them.

Yes, someday they’ll learn, just like I did.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Kathy Glow

Kathy Glow is a wife and mom to four teenage boys and one beautiful angel in Heaven, lost to cancer. Most days you can find her under a pile of laundry ordering take-out. She writes about what life is REALLY like after all your dreams come true. Her writing has been featured on sites such as Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Good Housekeeping, and Mamalode; but Her View From Home is her favorite place to be. Her blog is at www.lifewiththefrog.com. You can follow her on Facebook at Kissing the Frog.

What My Son Taught Me About Joy at the Holidays

In: Fatherhood, Uncategorized

There’s not a lot going on right now, but that doesn’t mean my family can’t still enjoy some of our favorite seasonal pastimes like trimming the Christmas tree, counting down to Santa’s arrival, and riding bikes around the neighborhood and loudly critiquing everyone’s decorating choices. Amidst the December doldrums, the announcement of a holiday decoration contest by our neighborhood HOA certainly sent a frisson of excitement through our household. My children are enamored with decorations anyway, but the prospect of a cash prize just for filling our yard with more inflatable monstrosities dialed up their excitement level to an 11....

Keep Reading

Christmas Magic May Look Different For a Special Needs Family

In: Kids, Motherhood, Uncategorized
Little boy looking at Christmas tree

Christmas can be a very magical time of year with Santa, decorations, presents, and family gatherings. It can also be a very tough and difficult time for families with special needs children. For many of us as parents, we are hanging on by a thin thread as we try to honor the traditions of our extended families while keeping our children with special needs happy and on routine.  My son was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at 21 months and is non-verbal. He is now 5.5 years old. He doesn’t like the noise or chaos that gatherings bring. Sometimes lights...

Keep Reading

Kevin Hart to Star in Movie About Fatherhood That Promises to be a Tear-Jerker

In: Fatherhood, Uncategorized

Imagine having it all: you’re happily married to your high school sweetheart, settled into your dream home in Los Angeles, and over-the-moon excited for the birth of your first child—a baby girl. Then, without warning, tragedy strikes. Just 27 hours after your little girl enters the world, your wife suffers a pulmonary embolism and dies instantly, without ever holding the daughter whose arrival she had so eagerly awaited. Heartbreaking stories like this seem like the stuff of fiction, but for Matt Logelin, it is a terrible reality. After finding himself the sole caretaker of his newborn daughter, Maddy, Matt turned...

Keep Reading

Why Didn’t We Think of That? Dad Invents Candy Chute for Contactless Halloween Trick-or-Treating

In: Uncategorized

We know we aren’t the only dads who had big dreams for Halloween this year—after all, how often does the spooky holiday actually fall on a weekend? And one that coincides with a super rare blue moon, no less! Our kids have had their costumes picked out since last October, and we were fully prepared to endure 48-hour sugar highs and demand extra candy tax in compensation. Of course, no one could have predicted a global pandemic would throw a wrench into those plans, leaving many of us scratching our heads as to how to make a highly anticipated event...

Keep Reading

To the Great-Grandparents: Thank You For Loving Us So Well

In: Uncategorized

Can we take a minute to talk about the blessing of great-grandparents? Grandparents (i.e. your own parents) spoil your kids, of course—it’s a time-honored tradition, really. The reward for surviving parenthood with your own children is spoiling your grandchildren with abandon. All that spoiling prompts the inevitable wondering, “Where were these people when they were raising me?!” Your parents limited television and junk food. They enforced rules and consequences. Who are these pod-people who’ve invaded your parents’ bodies and are now spoiling the living daylights out of your children? This question doesn’t exist where great-grandparents are concerned. You know exactly...

Keep Reading

I Want My Son To Take Pride in His Heritage

In: Uncategorized
Mother holding newborn baby

I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked the same question, THE question. The one I have grown accustomed to hearing yet not grown accustomed to answering. “What are you?” I’ve been asked this by people I’ve known for months and people I have known for mere seconds.  As a child, I had my prepared answer, “I am Polish, German and Native American.” Not the full story. As an adult I’ve tested out different responses, “I am American; I am mixed.” Not the answer they want to hear.  The truth is I was ashamed. Ashamed as a young child...

Keep Reading

To the Average Kid: One Day You’ll Realize You’ve Always Been Exceptional

In: Uncategorized
kids students graduate graduation academics www.herviewfromhome.com

Hello average and below average kids and teenagers! Today you will not be on a stage receiving an honor, a pin, a certificate, a sash, a cord, or a badge for high academic achievement. Nobody will tell you your future is bright and positive, or that you can do and be anything you want. You will shuffle along the rest of your school days and years sheepishly wearing the “average” badge—which is actually no badge at all, rather it’s just you sitting small watching everyone else standing tall with honor. But I want to tell you something. Something incredible. It’s...

Keep Reading

I’m Not a Princess – But I’m Raising One

In: Kids, Motherhood, Uncategorized
I'm Not a Princess - But I'm Raising One www.herviewfromhome.com

It was at my baby shower that I received my daughter’s first princess tiara. It was a gift from a family friend and it was truly beautiful. Radiantly adorned with Swarovski crystals and perfectly sized to fit atop a tiny toddler’s head. I remember my mom gushing over it when I unwrapped the box after the party was over. I scowled at it. “She will not wear that thing,” I said. My mom looked confused. “But she’s going to be a little girl. Of course she will want to wear it!” she said. “My daughter will never be called a...

Keep Reading

Make Wanderlust a Must: Raising Kids Who Love to Travel

In: Kids, Motherhood, Uncategorized
Make Wanderlust a Must: Raising Kids Who Love to Travel www.herviewfromhome.com

The love of travel is perhaps one of the greatest gifts parents can give their children. It breeds curiosity, tolerance, adaptability and a sense of adventure. Whether it’s three hours or three continents away, traveling broadens the mind and restores the soul. Plus it’s just plain old FUN. But there is a difference between taking your children on a trip and cultivating a love of travel, and that difference lies in how you involve them in the process. Get their input. Where do they want to go and why? What types of activities interest them? While an African Safari may...

Keep Reading

For the Expectant Mom: You’re In For a Crazy, Beautiful Ride

In: Humor, Kids, Motherhood, Uncategorized
For the Expectant Mom: You're In For a Crazy, Beautiful Ride www.herviewfromhome.com

This article is meant for the woman who is expecting her first child. Congratulations to you momma. I am so happy for you and wish you all the best. You are in for a lifetime of happiness and joy, and also a whole lot of crazy. There are a lot of articles out there for expectant moms that talk about the joys of motherhood, or tips on how to survive, but here are the top ten things I’ve learned since becoming a mom four months ago myself. Take heart, it’s a great adventure. Days of eating meals with your spouse...

Keep Reading