Being a father is truly one of my favorite things in the world. My father told me when I was younger, that I will never understand how much you can love someone until I have a child. Well on May 22nd, 2019, I found that out. At the same time, I begin to find out that this is about to be work! Work that has the most amazing payoff ever, but WORK WORK! In the first 72 hours, my wife and I probably only got about 4 hours of rest and as time progressed. You find yourself having to have conversations with yourself that you’ve ran from. I must admit, at one point I truly asked myself was I actually man enough to be the father that my daughter needs.
If anyone has read my write-up on my dad, then you know I come from a home with an AMAZING DAD! So much so, I still to this day cannot figure out how my dad worked the long hours he did, but was still able to make it to all of the after school activities I had from probably 1st grade to being a senior in high school! When I asked him last year, he told me, “you make time for what you love”. I’ve never questioned how much my dad loved me. If I wanted to make my dad tear up, I know I could quickly put in the movie ‘South Central’ with the legend OG Bobby Johnson and his son, or ‘John Q’ where Denzel Washington will do anything to make sure his son gets a heart transplant.
In my life, I have now beaten my dad in every sport he’s taught me. From pool, bowling, baseball, basketball, football, etc. I doesn’t matter. Some may look at this as a put down. HELL NO! Every man wants their child to better than they are, so he and I have always looked at things as accomplishments. Just like a Sensei finally seeing that his apprentice is ready for war, because he beat him in sparring. One thing I feel I may never beat my father in though is being a better father than him. I know! this is definitely THE BEST PROBLEM to have.
I can be a very competitive person, but this isn’t about competing with him. It’s about continuing a generational tradition for our family that I truly feel my dad started for us. My wife on the other hand will tell you that I am an amazing dad as she tells me all the time, but I’ve always been my hardest critic.
These thoughts never came to me until I was preparing to be a dad. With many men, I’m sure that many of us are faced with thoughts as we are becoming a father and truly to realize how much our past may be affecting us until that fatherhood countdown begins.
I’ve never really been into vlogs, but on Instagram I am a huge fan of @KierandThem. Always cracking up and enjoying the relationship between Kier and his daughter as well as newly wedded wife, he shows that it’s other black men who are going through life similar to myself. Sometime last year, he posted a snippet of a video he recently posted on his vlog with his daughter and the words from it hit me to the core. That post on Instagram made me subscribe to his Youtube, but also to see the entire video.
At 19:04, Kier begin to have a conversation with his 2 year old daughter while on her birthday and takes some time to connect with her. During that time, he delivers a statement to men that want to be dads. In it he states:
“It comes with a down side. And it can be incredibly painful, if you allow it to be. So before you take on a family. Bruh, go see somebody about your past and go see somebody about the trauma you’ve endured throughout the course of your life and start healing. Because if you don’t heal from that… You’ll have all this and you’ll never be happy. And I don’t want that for nobody.”
With me now being a father of an almost 8 month old daughter, this is one statement I wish I heard earlier. I truly love being a dad, but having a child is going to make you come face to face with any personal, or relationship issue that you have been hiding, or never wanted to face. When he states, “Bruh, go see somebody about your past and go see somebody about the traumas you’ve endured throughout the course of your life…” This hit HARD!
Through all of the beauty that comes with being a dad, ESPECIALLY A FIRST TIME DAD! You’re going to experience looooong nights, days when you truly feel lost in what to do and if with your spouse, trying not to allow stress to take over your emotions while interacting with each other. During that time, you are going to have to learn to speak up and talk more, compromise more and understand that much of your time is not your time anymore. All this I have learned in only the 8 months of time.
I will say this, IT IS ALL WORTH IT! Just today, I woke up with my daughter holding herself up in her bassinet grunting loudly to wake me up. As she saw me look at her, she began to give me her big gummy smile. I promise you, that smile right there! I will do anything I have to to continue to see that smile every morning.