Most of us should be familiar with the scene from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air when Will’s father Lou left him hanging. Will cried and asked Uncle Phil,”Howcome he don’t want me man?” I think so many felt it because so many can knew the feeling. There was this one moment in my life that had set the precedent to how I handled other people. Picture this, I was about 5 or 6 (yes I still remember that far back) and I think my dad promised to come and pick me up from my mother for the weekend. So I packed my clothes and sat by the front room window and waited. To give you an idea, from that window you could see all of the cars coming through the corner.
So there I was excited , bags all packed and ready to go. So I waited. Waited. Waited. And yes waited. Dark fell and I went inside of the room , never unpacked my bag just incase. The faith on a young child is really so pure and sincere. I honestly can’t remember if I cried or just kept that hollow feeling inside. But I was surely very disappointed and hurt when the next morning came and I never heard a word from him nor did I get a call.
There is a major difference in the world when he is not there compared to when he is. I know that I am kind of late with this but I did have some thoughts on Father’s day that I wanted to share. Maybe this will be more about the father element than the day itself in this case.
I haven’t arrived to the point of being a father in my life as yet so there are some things I honestly can not relate to until I get there. Although, I have grown to become a man of understanding, there are some things that I find it easy to realize but hard to accept and honestly there are some things that I don’t want to relate to. Ever since a young boy I always wondered; What would cause a parent reject a child that they brought into this crazy world? It seems today that it is easier for a male to ‘run’ compared to a mother. I question if it is because of the months that mother and child spend connecting throughout her pregnancy stage. Or maybe mothers are just wired to stay? The man in me can’t just settle with those thoughts.
Given all of that, after being born, the child has to interact and engage with the outside world and this is where I think the power of the father figure plays the major role. The child needs the male’s perspective on life. Giving birth is a process that a father can never truly relate to; because men are not designed to carry or give birth to babies. But we are designed to mold, protect and empower them.
Definition of a Father
If you were to ask me for a definition of a father off the top of my head. From my observation, I would say that daddies seem to have been designed to build a path for their family and offer the protection and resources to walk along this path. I say this because in my self-seeking days, I’ve realized that I’ve always craved this in my life. Even to this day, I still have some questions.
I heard but can’t confirm the stats that over 80% of Bahamian homes have only one parent. A popular guess would be that most of these homes only have a mother who is the sole provider and everything else. Just my opinion. Why do the fathers so easily abandon their children is my real question?
Going back to the idea of defining who a father is supposed to be and why I am writing this blog. There are some points in a young man’s life that he feels the need to be understood. Don’t we all? And the truth is, we never really want the entire world to understand us (because they won’t). If only one person gets that young man with full understanding then his mind can be at ease (at least that’s what we tell ourselves). I find myself looking for this person that gets me and gives me a better understanding of myself in everyone that I get close to. Even in my girlfriend sometimes. ( I know it’s weird but it’s true.)
Ultimately, we find ourselves looking for a father in any figure. It’s not intention I don’t think, it’s natural. People act like we’re automatically supposed to substitute the absence of a father with something positive automatically. They act like we don’t live in the same cruel world as they do. They want young stong positive males but forget that we can only hold to the reality in front of us sometimes.
A mother’s role is one of the most vital roles in a child’s life but a father’s role is the most important because when you think about it. So much of the world would be fixed if families were today the way God intended for them to be. Crime, relationships, compassion, respect would all be easier to handle. I would say to all fathers that you must know that you can mean the world to someone. You can be that light that illuminates the eyes and mind of the young that you come in contact with. On the flip side, you can also be the reason it’s hard to trust and depend on others. You can be the dark spot in the back of a child’s mind that never gives them the chance to know what true embrace is into the world.
I chose not to add scriptures and other usurps to this blog because this is something that I hold true to my heart. Don’t get me wrong, I have an ok relationship with my father now but some things just leave you tarnished in life. To the young men that know my sentiments just know that God created you and you can become the man you always wanted to know. The key is to understand that despite your dad not being present physically or emotionally the lessons you will learn can make you a solution to the many wrongs done to the generations before us. There is no excuse to repeat the same things that broke your heart. Change comes when we use love to influence the ones that we hold close to us.
To give a closing to my opening story, that experience taught me an important lesson. In life there will always be disappointments especially from people you may have to depend on. I must admit, I still do have a hard time dealing with disappointments but I try to be the one that communications as honestly and openly as possible. Simply put, I live my life avoiding that situation from happening again, I try not to depend on people but I also try to be someone who others can depend on.