Joey’s dad never said it, not with words anyway. He said it in subtle, ineffable ways. He said it when he ruffled his son’s hair when he learned to rope a steer. He said it with a small nod after the boy drove a splitter through a hardwood log. He said it when he picked him up and wiped the blood off his nose after his first rough-and-tumble on the footy field.
He never said it with words. He didn’t need to, he showed it, every day.