Dads and trucks

The car my wife drives broke down earlier this week and as a result I’ve been driving our daughter to and from kindergarten with my truck.  Not having both cars working is a hassle, but the time with our daughter has been a real blessing.  I took over the kid commute for a few weeks several months back when my wife broke a toe and couldn’t drive, but that time I used our car.  This time around my wife commented on how excited our daughter is to have me drive her to school.  My wife is kind enough to get up first and get our daughter ready for school so I can sleep in a bit.  Normally she has a small battle on her hands getting her ready, but now our daughter is so eager to ride to school she gets up by herself at 6:00 AM and starts getting herself ready even though we don’t leave for school until 7:45.

I know how she feels.  My father always drove a pickup truck, and there was something very special about that combination.  Sometimes he would come home while it was still light out and take all of the kids in the neighborhood for a ride.  We’d all pile into the back of the truck and he’d start driving up a nearby hill.  It was always the same trick, but each time he would get halfway up the hill he would pretend the truck didn’t have enough power.  He’d slow down and even let the truck start to roll backwards a bit.  Then he would stop the truck and rev the engine and feather the clutch to get the truck moving again.  He and his mechanic had replaced the original 6 cylinder engine with a V8 out of an old mustang.  Between the V8 and the glass packs it made a beautiful sound.  I don’t know why but it was exciting every time.

I was thinking about this a few months back when I took our daughter over to Bass Pro for some father/daughter time.  After we parked I had her stay in the truck until I came around and opened her door.  As she started to climb out I leaned forward to be ready to catch her in case she lost her footing.  In a split second she had a glint in her eye and then launched herself straight at me.  Luckily I caught her, but I’m not sure it was needed because she held on with her arms and legs so tight I don’t think she could have fallen.  I started to scold her a little for not letting me know what she was going to do.  I told her she could have fallen;  she replied:

I know, but I knew you would catch me.

Sometimes it is a strange feeling to be the dad, and yet at the same time it feels so natural.  I know exactly how she feels, because I would have had perfect faith that my dad would catch me in that same situation.  The time will come soon enough for her to learn that I’m just a man, with all of the usual limitations.  For now we both can enjoy me playing the role.  When I pick her up from school I park the truck on the street and walk over to where she waits with her class and teacher.  I make it a point to pick her up when she runs up to me, and I carry her a little way before I let her down;  she absolutely beams.  At home when she comes into my home office I sometimes have her give me a hug from the side while I’m in my chair at the computer.  Then I pretend I forgot I was holding her and get up and tote her around the house as if she wasn’t dangling off of my side.  I walk down the stairs and around the house, complaining of having gained a little weight.  Then when she giggles I quickly turn so her legs windmill around, only to find the little girl giggling isn’t there.  Just like my dad’s trick, it never gets old.

If you get the chance to become a dad I highly recommend it.  We talk a lot about marriage and divorce here and elsewhere in the manosphere, but we don’t always talk about why it matters so much.  The truck may be optional, but the father isn’t.

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49 Responses to Dads and trucks

  1. Retrenched says:

    You are a very lucky man, Dalrock. 🙂

  2. Thag Jones says:

    Awww… That is really sweet. 🙂

  3. Beautiful, DR. Lotta people that lurk in the manosphere need to read good stuff like this.

  4. Simon Grey says:

    For some reason, this post inspired me to write this:

  5. Deborah says:

    I think we need to buy my husband a truck …

  6. terry@breathinggrace says:

    If you get the chance to become a dad I highly recommend it. We talk a lot about marriage and divorce here and elsewhere in the manosphere, but we don’t always talk about why it matters so much. The truck may be optional, but the father isn’t.


    As a mother of many daughters, this one touched me a great deal. I loved it. Great post, Dalrock.

  7. nothingbutthetruth says:

    This post touches a raw nerve in me.

    I am thinking about having children (not now, but in about two or three years) and I am making my mind. I have read the book “Stumbling on happiness”, that tells that the best way to predict your happiness in a given situation is asking the people who is in that situation.

    But everybody that has children gives me a negative view. My sister is happily married and has a lovely four-year-old little princess (a very pretty, intelligent and well-behaved blondie). My sister is exhausted and tells me once and again “Think twice before having children. I don’t see you as a parent. You are too independent and, after being parent, you have no freedom anymore”. She swears that she does not want to have another kid.

    I chatted yesterday with an old friend. He has gotten married and has a little girl. He is COMPLETELY fed up with the situation and envies me for being single. He spent all our chat complaining about the life of married with children.

    Statistics don’t help either. Studies say that the higher level of happiness in a marriage is before the kids are born and after children leave the home.

    All this is making me feel scary. Now that I have found a great woman to build a family with, everybody tells me not to do it. But, in my country, every woman wants to have children and the only other option is to be single forever, which does not appeal to me (I am not young anymore and things that used to fill my life- work, travels, challenges- does not mean so much too me anymore).

    This is why your post has ressonated in me. Seeing a man telling that it is good to be a dad is refreshing.

  8. Thag Jones says:

    nothingbutthetruth, It’s too bad you seem to have some negative people around. Yes, being a parent can be trying at times, but it’s also a process of maturation – nothing has made me grow up more than being a parent and I can’t imagine I’d be half the person I am now had I not had kids. Sure there are times I wish I could just come and go like I did before, but this isn’t the time for that and I have to accept it – I chose to have kids. Even as a full custodial lone parent who never gets a single day off, I wouldn’t go around telling people not to have kids.

    Likewise I’m not going to be one of those people who says there aren’t bad days, but when I see how my kids are growing and maturing, when they tell me they love me and I’m the best mom ever (I’m not, lol), I have to ask myself, what am I really missing that’s any better than that? Any resentment parents feel is ego-based. We’ve become a culture of “what’s in it for me” rather than of doing service for others, which has its own rewards.

  9. Mister_Y says:

    I think that maybe Thag is trying to point out that the old guy who wrote Ecclesiastes knew a thing or two about “seasons”. Being married without children is pretty much like dating used to be. Having children does change the relationship. It should lead to both the man and woman becoming more mature, too. Children will provide a lot of interesting times in both good and not so good ways; interesting combinations of traits can show up, a woman can find herself “raising” her father, or a man “raising” his mother.

    It is very important to carve out of every day some time for “dad” and “mom” to be alone where they can be themselves, husband and wife, without all the mental ‘cues’ that children create. It’s important to go out, even if only to the park or to a coffee house, so as to be a couple rather than a couple of parents.

    Babies are pretty straightforward to care for provided they are healthy. Eat, sleep, roll around, repeat. Toddlers are more complex, and asking the mother of a toddler what it is like to have children is kind of a biased source.

    Don’t avoid having children because you want your wife all to yourself. Because years later, you would benefit from having children, but you dont’ know it now. I’ll try to explain more later.

    PS: Deborah, get an older truck with a stick shift and a clutch. A truck that already has a few dents, that gives it character. A truck that can hall real stuff if need be. Because once you have it, you’ll need it from time to time.

  10. mmack says:

    A truck that can hall real stuff if need be. Because once you have it, you’ll need it from time to time.

    Owning a standard cab/long bed 2WD S-10, I’ve learned the slogan “A man who owns a pickup truck has friends who need to move” is a truism.

  11. sestamibi says:

    Dalrock, you remember this song?

    And i wake up in the morning with my hair down in my eyes and she says hi
    And i stumble to the breakfast table while the kids are going off to school, goodbye.
    And she reaches out and takes my hand and squeezes it and says how you feeling hon?
    And i look across at smiling lips that warm my heart, and see my morning sun.

    And if that’s not loving me, then all i’ve got to say,
    God didn’t make the little green apples, and it don’t rain in indianapolis in the summer time.
    And there’s no such thing as dr. seuss or disney land and mother goose, no nursery rhymes.
    God didn’t make the little green apples, and it don’t rain in indianapolis in the summer time.
    And when myself is feeling low, i think about her face and go and ease my mind.

    Sometimes i call her up, at home, knowing she’s busy.
    And ask her if she can get away, meet me and maybe we can grab a bite to eat.
    And she drops what she’s doing and she hurries down to meet me, and i’m always late.
    But she sits waiting patiently, and smiles when she first sees me, because she’s made that way.

    And if that ain’t loving me, then all i’ve got to say,
    God didn’t make the little green apples, and it don’t snow in minneapolis when the winter comes.
    And there’s no such thing as make-believe, puppy dogs or autumn leaves, no bb guns.
    God didn’t make the little green apples, and it don’t snow in minneapolis when the winter comes

  12. jz says:

    to Nothingbutthetruth.

    Stop asking parents in the trenches about happiness; rather, ask them about satisfaction.

    Ask 60 year olds about their greatest satisfaction in life, and you will rarely find someone who cites any experience other than parenting.

  13. Mormon Man says:

    Great post as usual Dalrock. I’ve found myself wanting to be a father more and more in the last year. This post just doubled that desire for me.

  14. Julie says:

    Parenting is hard but it’s so worth it. Plus, it’s refreshing to stop worrying so much about myself and invest in others.

  15. Pingback: Randoms of the day « Foseti

  16. Mister_Y says:

    mmack, that’s another reason for buying a used one. When some friend dings the back gate backing up just a litttttle-bit more {crunch} it is just another dent, rather than the first dent in a new truck! and so no big deal. Same deal when hauling stuff to the dump site, or helping someone pick up a few dozen bricks to build a flower bed or something in the yard, and so forth.

    Most children of any intelligence like the idea of riding in the truck to go to the lumber yard, for whatever reason.

  17. Xanadoo says:

    Sorry messed up the link:

    The song is called “Daughter”.

  18. Lavazza says:

    Good story, but as a European I do not get the truck thing. It seems to be a car that one buys to signal a kind of lifestyle (rural/construction/hunting) which accounts for a very small percentage of the miles traveled in the car.

  19. Lavazza says:

    The only time I have been riding in a pickup truck has been in Thailand, for short range public transport.

    In my military service we used VW buses for transporting us to manoeuvres and exercices or VW LT lorries for transporting us and/or our equipment, but they were never used for just transporting one single person.

  20. mmack says:


    Even though I bought my S-10 used, the scenario you describe is why I drive the truck when people need to move or bring large heavy objects back home from a store, and not anyone else. Mrs. mmack regularly uses “Old Blue” each spring to bring back flowers, potting soil, etc. when she goes to the local home improvement store or nursery.

  21. Married Game, Geek Game says:


    Learn the principles of gender realism (aka “Game”) to ameliorate the impact of kids on your marriage.

    If your potential wife wants to have a high-powered career, then that could be a problem but presumably she does not.

    Personally I can’t fathom the notion of not having kids, nor of getting married to someone and not having kids. Having kids seems to be as much a part of human teleology as the sexual instinct itself. Where I live probably most people think like me.

  22. Höllenhund says:

    I know some ordinary couples with small children (I’m from Hungary). One thing I often noticed is that parents don’t offer them any help whatsoever in parenting, even though that was the norm in most societies throughout civilization: grandparents, especially grandmothers, looked after their grandchildren while their parents were working, having some free-time together and being on vacation. This seems to be rarer and rarer. One apparent reason is that people are delaying parenthood, so grandparents are way too old to care for their grandchildren (or they’re already dead). Having to raise children without any input from your parents is obviously a mentally draining, enormous PITA.

    Another thing I noticed is that small children are often like the proverbial hot potato: nobody wants to deal with them, so they end up watching TV 4-5 hours a day. Another sign of cultural decline, I guess.

  23. Anonymous Reader says:

    Married Game, Geek Game
    Learn the principles of gender realism (aka “Game”) to ameliorate the impact of kids on your marriage.

    Got that right. Couple of men I know via email are certain that if they’d known back when their first child was born what they know now, the whole family would have been happier for years. Athol’s site has useful advice on this point, someone up thread wrote some other advice that is ok, but it boils down to a simple fact: if you keep having sex with your wife for as long as possible, and make sure she knows you are still interested in her after the kid is born, she’ll never “get out of the habit”.

    A lot of moodiness, resentment and other negative stuff starts in the bedroom, in my opinion.

  24. MissMarie says:

    You know, what you describe is the way I wish my father and I could have been. I’m 26 and getting to go somewhere in the truck with Dad is still a small thrill. Having been hanging out around here and some other blogs I can see that my father is definitely of the alpha persuasion but in his family it was always understood you took care of business for your family and that is how they knew you loved them, so you need not say it or do anything ‘mushy’ because that’s not manly. I always though you ought to be able to balance the two and you really demonstrate what I was trying to fathom in my mind, Dalrock. Thank you for writing this.

  25. Pol Mordreth says:

    @ Lavazza: To most, a truck doesn’t signify any lifestyle. Its a utilitarian vehicle, and generally indispensible when you both own your own place and do the majority of the maintenance / upkeep / improvements yourself. You buy a truck because its there when you need to haul / move something, and its a daily driver with plenty of interior space when you don’t. Here in the Southeast US, with fuel costs being what they are, if you need to rent a pickup 2 to 3 times a year you have paid the fuel difference in using it as a daily driver to work. Since most people can’t afford to have a stable of specialty vehicles for various uses, a truck makes a great all around vehicle when you only have a kid or 2.

    As a father and a truck owner your post definately rings true. Between riding in it, and teaching my kids to work on it, bonding over the truck is amazing.


  26. Lavazza says:

    POL: Thanks for picking up the subject. “Its a utilitarian vehicle, and generally indispensible when you both own your own place and do the majority of the maintenance / upkeep / improvements yourself.” In Europe there are also a lot of people (maybe 10-15 percent of the population, is it much higher were you live?) who fulfill the two criteria of owning their places and doing the majority of the maintenance / upkeep / improvements themselves. Still I do not see many trucks. Most DIY guys have station wagons, even compact station wagons, and own or rent a U-Haul when needed. Heavy household machines, like washing machines, large furniture and so on are delivered to the house by the store for free or for a small fee, or they will let you rent a U-Haul for a low fee. If you have a normal driver’s license you are allowed to rent a “real” light truck, like Nissan Cab Star, Mercedes Sprinter or VW Crafter, which costs around 100 dollars a day. A pickup truck only seats 2 or 3 people, if I am correct, whereas most Europeans want a 5-seater. I guess gas is really cheap in the US and that renting larger vehicles is quite expensive, to make pickup trucks make any rational sense. Emotionally I can see the attraction, though.

  27. Lavazza says:

    Being a European I drive a 5 seat hatchback that has a consumption of 58-47 mpg.

  28. Lavazza says:

    A picture of the parking outside a giant DIY store in Germany.

    No pickup trucks at all, so they cannot be that indispensable for DIY guys.

  29. Flahute says:

    Great story Dalrock. Truly the joys of fatherhood there.

    What is this talk I hear about happiness? A fool’s errand. Happiness is an emotion, not a state of being. Happiness is silliness. I blame Jefferson for elevating happiness such that every American feels they need to pursue it.

    “‘Til your dead.
    That’s how long you’re a parent,
    ’till you’re dead.”

    To anyone considering parenthood, I submit that you ask yourself this question, “Do I want to start living my life for others?” Be honest with yourself. When you can answer yes, you are ready. It is a great responsibility, a great challenge, a most worthy undertaking and very satisfying.

  30. Anon-E-mous says:


    Jefferson and other Founding Founders interpretated the “Pursuit of Happiness” as the right to own property. The “do as you please” interpretation of happiness came later.

  31. Dalrock says:

    Good story, but as a European I do not get the truck thing. It seems to be a car that one buys to signal a kind of lifestyle (rural/construction/hunting) which accounts for a very small percentage of the miles traveled in the car.

    I think there may be some truth to that. The same could be said for sports cars, at least in the US. Actually more so, because I can and do legally use the extra functionality of my truck over a standard car or (shudder) minivan. By the same token, what percentage of the miles driven in convertibles is the top actually down?

    I think part of the appeal to a truck is that it is unrefined in an overly refined world.

  32. greyghost says:

    Damn Dalrock you must have an actaul wife to be able to to think about and write an article like that.

  33. greyghost says:

    BTW trucks are a way to be independent. People that own trucks never ask to borrow a truck. That is why we seem to connect trucks with men. Even women that drive pick up trucks have a predictable personality type.

  34. Oak says:

    Enjoy, enjoy… and take lots of pictures Dalrock, it doesn’t last long. My daughter is now 21 years old, a brilliant college student, and I miss her all the time.

    I am one of the few fathers out there who never married, which allowed me to gain physical custody of my daughter far more easily than my married friends. You see, if you get married, the dog-eared play-book for women is: Quit your job, file for divorce, make HIM pay for both the attorneys, and wait him out. Eventually, financially devastated, he cries “uncle” and she walks away with spoils.

    As a single man, I hired the best attorney, and I waited HER out. Soon, without ever going to court, I had “Joint custody and primary residency”. The only thing my ex-girlfriend ever asked was to have “some weekends for myself” and a promise that I would never ask for child support. So sad, and so predictably typical. (“I, Me, I, Me”) She married another sucker, and the look on his face says it all.

    However, raising my daughter was the best time in my life. Your story brought back wonderful memories, from feeding her as a baby, as she would rest her tiny hand on my cheek, looking at Daddy. Reading her stories, and all the long wonderful discussions we had about life when she was a teenager.

    So remember folks, you don’t have to marry to raise your own child. Cohabitation provides far more legal security for the man, and if it turns out it’s not your child? No court in the world can make you pay for it.

    She was my only child, but I’ve heard that having a son is a challenge to a father, but having a daughter is the joy of a man’s life.

  35. Lavazza says:

    greyghost: Well, that goes for all types of machines and equipment. Sometimes it makes sense to own, rather than to rent, borrow or co-own, sometimes it doesn’t. Some people like the feeling of independence and the image owning the machines or equipment conveys to them so much that efficiency/rationality/necessity takes a back seat. I’ve never been to the US, but my guess it that one sees a lot of trucks with an empty flat bed and/or no trailer attached before seeing the opposite.

  36. Lavazza says:

    Oak: Couples with only boys divorce/separate the least often, and the majority of kids living with the father only are boys.

  37. Oak says:

    Quite true Lavazza. However single parents of daughters never divorce! If you avoid the marriage trap in the first place, the point is moot.

    Most unmarried fathers don’t realize their claim to their children is just as strong as a married father, provided you are living with the child. Men also fall for the “I want you to move out for awhile while we work things out” trick. Meaning, the second you walk out the door because of a fight, your soon-to-be-ex can file court papers to ‘freeze’ physical custody in it’s current state until a judge takes a look at the case.

    And once custody has been set, a judge is loathe to change it unless there is compelling evidence.

    In my case, my ex decided she needed a new man, and gave me primary custody of our daughter…temporarily she thought. I filed court papers, and “BAM” instant custody. Now she has to convince a judge I’m an unfit father, and because we aren’t married, she’s gonna have to pay all her own legal fees.

    Too bad for her; I was/am an excellent father. Had we been married, my chances at custody would have been almost nil.

    Until Family law changes, marriage is entirely against the best interests of the husband and father.

    ESPECIALLY, if your the 1 in 10 husbands who’s not actually the father of the child. (In poorer parts of the south, that number is 1 in 3.) I read a study on CNN years ago… they were looking into the inheiritability of certain genetic traits, and were getting a lot of ‘weird’ data, lol.

    If you don’t figure it out in the first 6 months, too bad. You’re now the “putative father.” Legally, some other guys child is your responsibility for at least 18 years.

    You see, men aren’t treated as full Human Beings in Family Court. The fact that you aren’t the father? Irrelevant. You will pay. The rights of the actual biological father? Nonexistent. He’s just the father, and only a man after all.

    Not sure I understand the implications of your post… Care to elaborate? 🙂

  38. Eric says:


    You’ve touched the real root of the problem here. Dalrock’s right: the father isn’t optional. Unfortunately, the majority of US females think that he is; and, given the abortion rate and the numbers of kids dumped into daycare, it seems most women consider children as optional as well (unless they come with hefty child-support payments).

    Our main problem isn’t the lack of men to be fathers and husbands; it’s the lack of suitable women to make wives and mothers. For the third straight census decade, the numbers show that the only marriage demographic increasing in the US is between American men and foreign-born women. So much for the idea that men won’t commit.

    Stories like yours are the rule, not the exception, among men who marry American women. Stories like Nothingbutthetruth’s are typical of men who avoid the predatory Amerobitch and go outside the Anglosphere.

    The proof is in the pudding: the divorce, abortion, illegitemacy rates—among other unpleasant statistics don’t lie. Personally, I don’t know ONE American man who’s married an American bitch and was still happily married and raising kids after five years. Most of them ended up with their lives in ruins.

  39. Lavazza says:

    Oak: I just meant that it is not common for a father to have sole custody of a daughter. Sons are more of a challenge for the parents, so they stay together more often, or the mothers are more happy let the father get custody.

  40. Oak says:

    @Eric: I agree 100% Although I really think the problem is with men in this country. If you willingly submit to marriage, you should be fully aware that you have given up a number of rights, and have in fact become a ‘second class citizen’. Avoid marriage, and you avoid the problem. It’s that simple. I cohabitate in a non-commonlaw State. I have all the advantages of marriages, and none of the drawbacks. Men need to communicate this to young men, as they are the most vulnerable.

    Marrying a woman from another country is still a bad idea. Marriage, as Rev. Shannon famously said, is wiring your scrotum to a table, handing the woman a mallet, and letting her know that even though it would hurt you real bad, feel free to take a whack anytime you want. If you decide there is something inheirently unfair with the arrangement, she gets several free swings by default.

    Why bother in the first place? Look, if the situation were reversed, the blogosphere would be filled with stories of unscrupulous men doing the same thing. The problem is the sexism and misandry that is built into marriage law, not the nature of women. Although at times, that’s an easy argument to make. 😉

    If you were buying a car, would you sign a contract that allowed the dealership to take it back if they felt like it? What if was a really reliable and nice foreigner who was selling you the car? Of course not. The problem isn’t the signitories, it’s the contract.

    @ Lavassa, yep… I’m unusual. I knew my rights, and I never married. If more men never married, there would be a lot more fathers raising their daughters.

  41. Oak says:

    Ooops, Eric I meant I agree with your conclusions, I differ in the points I made above! 🙂

  42. Eric says:


    I agree with a lot of what you say; only that if a man even cohabits with an American woman, the laws are so misandryist that even cohabitation is a major risk. I realize that marriage though, as it exists today, is a minefield for a man. In fact, involvement with an American woman at all is like playing Russian Roulette with five loaded chambers.

    The point I made about foreign women, though, is that most of them have cultural and/or religious values that make them more able to handle the responsibilities that a committed marriage implies. In some cultures, even the kind of cohabitation you describe works well. I’m not opposed to men who forego marriage altogether (I can’t blame them); but for men who want a traditional marriage/family arrangement pursing American women is worse than useless and even dangerous.

  43. Badger Nation says:

    My dad didn’t have a truck when I was young, but he did have a toolbox and a workbench in the garage, with grease stains and a smell like turpentine. I remember feeling very “manly” when I was at the bench, and perceiving that if anything went wrong around the house my dad would be able to fix it. That was a very comforting feeling.

    My sister and her husband recently got an SUV, and my nephew calls it “the big family truck.”

  44. Badger says:

    Dalrock and Co,

    After months of planning and inspiration from the likes of you, my blog just went live at:

    I’ll be posting regularly over the next few weeks and if you like what you see please add me to the blogroll.

  45. Author says:

    Fathers ARE important. I’m glad that you spent some good time with your daughter. That’s important for daughters to have two parents who both love each other and love her. It’s important for boys, too. I’m glad that you have a happy family life, and that your children are able to enjoy it. My father was and is still very important to me. He thought that women could be anything they wanted to be and that they should be equal to, although different from, men. That’s a great deal of why I call myself a feminist.

    You know, feminists and women aren’t necessarily the enemy. Take a little time to really get to know some. You might be surprised by how much we have in common.

  46. Author says:

    Hell, I even agree with you about the Lifetime Channel. It’s mostly lame. It should be called the All Men Are Evil Channel.

  47. Author says:

    You might be particularly interested in this post of mine:

  48. Pingback: That way rationalization lies | Dalrock

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