As Father Day approaches I just wanted to share my perspective as a single mother and what it means to me to be a father (for the sake of this blog we will pretend being a daddy and a father is the same thing)... I am not a man. I cannot tell you what it feels like to be a father. I do not know what it feels like to be a father. But as a daughter, I can explain what it means to me to be a father. I was born in 1986. My mother met my father 6 months after I was born. We do not share blood but to him that did not matter. To him I was his. I was created for him to love. As I grew, they went there separate ways. In my life, I only remember seeing my father cry one time. I was maybe 9 or 10. He moved with my grandmother after their divorce. He called me into his room. I remember he kept his back to me and he stared out the window as he explained he would not be able to see me anymore. Somethings had happened and mommy had decided he could no longer be apart of my life. I remember him turning to me and saying "just remember I love you more than anything you will always be my boo..." After that day, I remember sitting in the window as he picked up my brothers. Sad I couldn't go Sundays at 6, I would cry to myself. I would sneak on the phone to call him we would talk for hours. All about nothing but he would sit and listen to me talk and go on and on about nothing. Holidays were different. I did not have the excitement to run and tell my daddy what I wanted. I would have to sneak on the phone to call him and tell him. He would make deliveries to my school after we returned from Christmas break... until mom found out. She would take my gifts break them or simply throw them away. As I grew older, I rebelled. I was living in Upper Marlboro but I had to get back to SE. I had to see my daddy. I would catch the school bus, get to school and call a cab. Alabama Ave please. $70 one way. My daddy would fuss "she is back again. girl u need to be in school" I just wanted to see him and spend time with him. I didn't make it an every day thing tho. School would call my mom. We would argue. I'm almost her size now, I'm grown she cant tell me what to do. Life happened. I removed from my mothers home. Placed in Foster Care. I told my foster mother, I just want my daddy. and she made it happen. I would visit with my dad and then go back to the home. Go to bed and back to my dad. Only for a few hours. But it was better than nothing. He would buy me clothes and things I needed. My mom couldn't take them away. By 10th grade I was returned back to my mom. I convinced her to switch my school. My attention had changed from my daddy to my boyfriend. I couldn't be with my daddy but I could be with my boyfriend. I started getting into more and more trouble. Skipping school and running the streets with him. Talked to my daddy less. Saw him less. I still called when I could tho. I told him about my boyfriend. He laughed it off. I wasn't having sex at the time so as long as I wasn't having sex, the boyfriend was alright with him. Well that changed in April 2002. I had sex. Didn't tell dad tho. Didn't tell anyone. I got arrested shortly after. Put out of school after that. That August I found out I was pregnant. That was not something I wanted to tell Daddy. My mom called me every whore in the book and then she asked me "is your father, the father of that baby" I was humiliated. I was embarrassed. My boyfriend wasn't my boyfriend any more... I couldn't see my daddy. I didn't have my mom. I just had my baby. Right before school started, my dad came to pick up my brothers. Usual Sunday @ 6. I went out side. It was time to tell him. I stood on his girlfriends side of the car. A full hobo sweat suit 80 degrees outside. I yell thru the window "Daddy Im pregnant" He didn't believe me. Just said u lying. Ur lying. I lifted up my hoodie and the belly was there. His first statement "u know u fucked ur life up" I couldn't say anything. I just went back into my house. I eventually moved out of my mom's house again. Moved with my grandmother. I visited with my dad more often. We would go on dates. Dinner and movies. Shopping for the baby. My daughter was born he was the first one to visit. He told me "this will be hard but you can do it. I will always love you no matter what" My daughter grew and eventually I moved with him. I started working two jobs to provide for us. I remember getting paid and my check was $600 and I was so excited to show him. He looked at my check and said thats what u made in two weeks.... O_o... with pride I said YES. He pulled a check out of his pocket and said "this is what I made today" I immediately quit my job and returned to high school. I graduated a year late but he pushed me thru summer school and my last semester and high school. I started working again. Now that I was older, and living with him there was never a moment where I needed him and he wasn't there. Even if he didn't want to be. He is an amazing daddy, he gets on my nerves at times but he never discouraged me, never belittled me. Never made me feel less than what I was. He is an amazing grandfather or "dad dad" as my son calls him to my now 3 children. He taught me what it means to be a father and I am so blessed that he chose me.
My daddy was the first man to love me unconditionally. He taught me how to deal with disappointment, how to handle spiteful ppl and what it means to be a father and love unconditionally. I not once heard him complain about the child support he had to pay. He always made a way. No complaints about time he couldn't spend, he just made it happen best he could. I'm sure there were times he rather not been with his children, but we never knew it. Despite the circumstances, he made sure we knew just how much he loved us not just with his words but with his actions. We were his main priority. Being a father is more than buying the latest clothes, keeping up with the latest shoes. To be a father means to be there even when u don't want to be, to teach lessons and instill values. To create a path for your children to follow and to ensure their future is brighter than they may realize. A father is the first man their daughter's will love and the man their son's aim to be like. A man makes a difference simply just by being a father.