In the post: Re visioning the Black Father I conclude with the decision to interview some of the many black fathers I know personally. They may not know it-but their commitment to their children has shifted my perspective on how I view black fathers and black men in general.
They have been humanized.
The care and love they demonstrate for their children always peels back the layers of the “alpha male” and guarded individual I often associate with when I think of black men. The vulnerabilities of being a parent (I often hear parents refer to their children as their heart existing outside of their body) shines through every time I observe a father with his children. Their love radiates every part of such father’s being.
I deem it only appropriate that the first father interviewed is my husband. Although we are in a rather complex place within our relationship ( When Love Just Isn’t Enough), I must admit his commitment to his child and his intentional efforts to build memories and be his child’s first teacher is one to be respected.
Anika: What were your first thoughts about having a baby?
Cameron: I was surprised while also being nervous, confused and sad.
Anika: Why sad?
Cameron: I was young-only 19 years old. I wasn’t ready for what was to follow. I wasn’t ready for the repercussions. I wasn’t financially stable. I was on a four year college academic scholarship.
Anika: How has your life changed since becoming a father?
Cameron: When his mom gave birth to him, my life change for the better. I experienced pure joy. I knew I was going to be an active participant in his life.
Anika: What’s your greatest joy when it comes to your son ?
Cameron: I love seeing his independence. He no longer needs my guidance with certain things. Although there is great joy in watching your child grow it is also lonely. He is all I’ve ever known but he doesn’t need me in the way he used to. He is a teenager now and he’s growing up.
Anika: What’s your greatest fear?
Cameron: My greatest fear would be burying him.
Anika: If you could tell your 19 year old self something after finding out you were going to be a dad, what would you say?
Cameron: You won’t be like your father in so many ways. You’re going to have to learn to listen and be patient with the mistakes associated with growing pains and be reasonable knowing about everything he’s doing.
Anika: What’s one advice you’d give to fathers?
Cameron: It’s a long road that never ends. Please stay committed and don’t give up on your flesh and blood.
To my beautiful female readers: share this post with a father-I would love to hear their perspective. Comment below. Blessings.