City: Indianapolis, In
Children: Xavier (8) & Mayson (4)
When I found out that I was going to be a father, my first thought was “Damn, at least I made it out of college with my degree and a job lined up.” I was a senior with the spring semester left to go. I knew I had prepared but I also knew I had to take it up a notch and stay on my shit! This was my chance to do everything my biological father did not do. Doing so was never difficult and I was never worried as I welcomed the lifelong challenge. I accepted fatherhood so easily because I had the perfect example of who I did not want to be. I was shown what an absentee father was and I planned to be the exact opposite!
My stepfather came into my life at age 8. He married my mom and added a level of stability we did not have. We ate dinner together every night as a family and cleaned up the kitchen together right after. Although, sometimes I tried to “use the bathroom” the whole time everyone was cleaning. We genuinely had a unit—a stable one at that! His favorite saying was “If you don’t do it right the first time, how could you ever find time to do it again?” This is a saying I live by and remember to this day as I go through daily tasks and life in general. My stepfather was stern and I think that instilled a strictness that is not overbearing but the presence is felt. I think his style of parenting taught me how to be present in every moment. This is true no matter how tired I am or how hard work or other worldly affairs may be.
I would say my greatest challenge is patience. With the eager minds of active children, there is always a question with a follow-up question locked and loaded—not to mention the attitude and emotions.
I would say my greatest 2 joys in life are seeing my children’s happiness and growth. It makes me feel amazing to see their lights grow and shine. My son. I want him to grow up to be a better man than me so I push and challenge him while also ensuring he’s in touch with his emotions. My daughter. I want her to stay my small little baby. I cherish her youth and giggles, her “daddy, I need you” or “I want to lay on you, daddy.” Sometimes I get sad thinking about how she won’t be my little girl sooner than later.
To my young fathers I would say be patient, stay committed and present. You’ve been chosen to raise a black queen or king and they need you. They need your love and guidance. Don’t leave them to face the world alone.