“Boy…You Bought A UTI Test!”

Name: Fred
Age: 29
City: Currently Indianapolis, IN, originally Calumet City, IL
Children: Ages 7 & 3

1. Think back to the day you found out you were going to become a father. How did you feel?

It’s actually a funny story. I had an idea that my wife may or may not be pregnant, but we weren’t sure. This was in Bloomington, IN. So after a night of drinking with the guys, I decided I wanted to find out for sure. I stumbled into CVS, grabbed what I thought was a pregnancy test and took it home to the wife. When I get home, I’m still drunk and I hand the box to my wife with a smirk on my face. She looks down at the box, then up at me, rolls her eyes, and says, “Boy, yo drunk ass bought a UTI test.” Needless to say we didn’t find out that night. The next morning, I’m sober, buy the right test, and we find out we’re pregnant. There wasn’t any fear really, but it definitely wasn’t a celebration either. It was just a moment of “Here we go.”

2. What made you accept responsibility as a father? Was it difficult?

Accepting responsibility was never a question for me. I was blessed to have a strong relationship with a strong woman and that confidence made accepting fatherhood effortless.

3. Did you have a father figure growing up? No matter the answer, what was that like for you? How does it effect your parenting today?

I did, he was a great example for me. He wasn’t the television father that always sat you down and said profound things, and taught lessons. But I saw him get up and go to work and come home to us every day. That kind of consistency and stability is what I want to be for my kids. He led by example, and that’s impacted my leadership in all aspects of my life. I’m not the most vocal, but I try to carry myself in a way that others can follow. I can’t always tell you the way, but I can show you.

4. What has been your greatest challenge as a father? Your greatest joy?

My greatest challenge has been with my daughter on two fronts. I struggle showing emotion and even with her I find myself questioning if I’m expressing to her how much I love her and things of that nature. At the same time, I feel like I struggle walking the line between giving her what she wants and creating a brat. She’s far too smart, and she knows how to get what she wants. I feel like I’m creating a brat, but at the same time you want to give your kids more than you had. So that balancing act is the toughest for me. My son is still just a wild young nigga, so we’ll see what kind of challenges he’ll present. My greatest joy is the love my kids have for me. When I come home from work they come running around the corner screaming Daddy, and it puts a smile on my face every time. I hope that never gets old or ends, but I’m sure they’ll be too cool to do it before too long.

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