Mother's column – serving love on Father's Day


Christian Life

Neline, CNE.news

Father and child. Not related to content of the article. Photo AFP, Jaime Reina

At the start of our time at secondary school, we talk about our teachers endlessly. But as years pass, boys become more and more an important topic of our conversations.

For example, we can discuss for hours what makes a boy cool. And how do you know whether someone is your true love? A friend of mine read somewhere that you have to ask yourself whether the boy of your dreams will be a good father to your children. As much as we are in love then, we naturally think that our romantic crushes will be fantastic fathers to a multitude of children.

Neline op de fiets.jpeg

Neline is married and the mother of five: Martha (8), Abel (6), Jolijn (5), Reinout (3) and Sifra (0).

At the time, several books about the five love languages are published in Dutch. The idea is that people can give and receive love in five different ways: by compliments, being together, serving one another, touching and giving presents. Dating does not seem to be on our agendas soon, so we already start philosophising about our favourite love language.

When I meet Jan a few years after, it soon becomes clear: giving presents is an important love language for me, although I had seen that as materialistic before. And Jan speaks almost all love languages fluently, except the one of surprises, attention and presents.

I look forward to romantic breakfasts in bed in vain, because Jan only thinks about the chocolate sprinkles between his toes and crumbs in his shirt. But, as we said as pre-wise teens, love is a verb, right?

Then the question remains whether Jan is a good father. And no doubt he is. "Why does that woman look so sad?" Jolijn asks, pointing at an illustration in the newspaper. "She has been very busy", I explain. "The schools were closed because of Covid, and she had to do much housework and also teach the children." Jolijn's response is illustrative: "But where is the dad then?" That is the kind of father Jan is. He is always there for us.

Jan also always reads my columns before I send them away for publication. Thus, he protects me against slipping. But this column is my surprise for him. I will keep it from him and serve it with his breakfast in bed on Father's Day. No worries about the crumbs. I will clean them up later.



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