Being a father is very important to me because my father was never there for me.
My father left me when I was just three days old. When I came home from the hospital, I went to go stay with my grandmother and grandfather. My grandparents raised me, and I have always wanted to know where my father was. As I was growing up, I wondered why my father wasn’t in my life. What did I do wrong for him to have left me all alone? I was sad because he wasn’t there as a role model for me. I wish I could have asked him why he was not in my life, but I found out later that he had died in 2005. I did not know how he looked, where he was, or what he had done. The only thing I knew about my father was that I had his name. For me, being a father means being there for my kinds. I am a provider, teacher, counselor, helper and a friend.
As a provider, I have to make sure that my kids have nourishing food, clothes, shoes, and a roof over their head. I work hard to earn money to support my kids. Working 6 days a week takes a lot of my time away from them, but it’s very necessary. Teaching them how to prepare for the world is also my responsibility. I show them how to respect themselves and others, to work hard, go to school and graduate and prepare for college or work. I went back to school to show my kids that it’s not hard to get and education, and you are never too old to learn. I tell them how the world is constantly evolving and to help not only themselves, but to help others. For instance, if they see someone in need of help, I would tell them to do what they can to help. My grandparents taught me the same thing and I wanted to pass it on to my kids. I feel that by teaching them these things, I am counseling them on how to live in this world.
Not only am I a father, but I am also a helper and a friend. Years ago, when my son was twelve, I had bought him a pair of shoes. He went to school and one of the kids stepped on his shoes. He loved them so much that he didn’t want to get them dirty because they new Jordans. He didn’t tell me and so he went to school the next day, he took a knife with him. Before he could do any harm the teacher found the knife, and took him to the principal, so they called his mother. Then she called me at work to come and pick him up, so I told my boss that I needed to take the rest of the day off because my son was in trouble. I spent the rest of the day with him, so I could talk to my son. I did not yell at him or hit him, instead I talked to him like a friend. I explained to him what he did was wrong. He cried, but he told me why he did it. I told him that I work hard to buy him shoes and clothes, but they are not important enough to take someone’s life. They can be replaced, but if you take a life that person is gone forever. He apologized to me, but I told him, “You don’t have to say it to me, you have to go and apologize to that boy and your teacher.” He went back to school, and he apologized to both of them.
By my father not being in my life, he taught me how not to be a father. His being absent was the reason why I am the father that I am today. I am grateful for his lesson and I forgive him. The moral of my story is to all the fathers, be the best father you can to your kids because they are our future.