Tag Archives: dad

Today’s Word is… FORGIVE

 

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Adulting trash, B. Ain’t nobody ask to be grown with bills, in the working class no less. The working class?!? You know how damn brilliant I am?!?  I need to see a manager, someone get a sorting hat, reset the game.  I have to get up go to a job where I’m well aware that I’m underpaid just so I can pay other people for survival essentials like food, shelter, and Netflix.  It’s something you can’t possibly understand until you get *there*, especially not as a child. To work all day, come all the way home and the chicken isn’t thawed. To spend your hard earned money on clothes they gonna tear up playing. To pay for them to explore passions and interests and having to be just as supportive when they  end up quitting. Failing a marriage and feeling like they resent you for it. (okay, maybe I don’t want kids, not without like a 100% pay increase, or a wife that makes way more than me.  I’m walking in the spirit of a Stedman.)

So on my birthday last month, I took a vacation. My father called me to wish me a Happy Birthday and we chopped it up for a bit.  He reminisced about where he was when he was my age; Married, working 2 jobs and they just had me even after wanting to stop at 3. (he did have 3 more kids after, and I mean…yikes.). Now that the youngest is grown and he’s nearing retirement he’s finally at a place where he can live his best life and even better he’s happy to see that I am.  After that talk, I decided to go visit.  He usually flies up to see his grandkids but we rarely bother to go see him, especially me. Our dynamic has always been a little strained.  Still a little strained, really.  Not much unlike him and my grandfather.  Even while you “get it” as an adult, you still become indifferent.  Forgiving parents isn’t easy, but sometimes necessary.  They affect our entire lives even subconsciously, the adults we become.  Me and my father are a lot alike; intuitive, reticent, stubborn.   It’s perhaps why we butt heads so much as adults.  We both recognize there’s…something wrong here, while also feeling like it’s the others’ to fix.  He’s not getting any younger, I’m not the one who broke it and so, stalemate.

As I approach the steep hill that is my 30s, part of me worries I’ll be him.  From our eerily similar decor choices, to my approach in relationships.  He’s a lot more expressive and open in his later years but that wasn’t the man I grew up knowing.  His love was assumed, shown through a roof over my head and Jordans every first day of school.  I was too young to really remember my parents in love, but with my step mother it always felt like, service.  They were together for 10 years because they were together for 10 years, in hindsight it mirrored my longest relationship.  We been together this long, why not see this through.  More recently, I had someone I’m with ask me that if a complete stranger was watching us right now, would they think we were in love?  I couldn’t answer.   I did love her, but clearly I sucked at showing it.  It wasn’t being expressed, it was assumed. Damn, I am him.  He lived through the civil rights movement, the military and having a whole ass family in the Reaganomics era, I can’t possibly be this way already.  I won’t allow myself to be.

Maybe, it starts with forgiving in the first place.  That’s a journey in itself that I’m still working on.  Without going too deep, there’s a lot about my childhood that I’m still processing but as an adult I at least find myself at a place where I see and empathize with him as a man; imperfect but steadily trying to grow as he prepares to embark on the next phase of his life as just as I’m trying to do with mine.    I usually try to end posts with a pretty little bow but there isn’t one, at least not yet.  All I can do in the interim, is work on improving our relationship and myself to become a more open, vulnerable man that believes in accent colors.  Oh, and no babies til like, 33?  35?  40?  Yeah, maybe 40.

-Stan-

 

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Today’s Word is… FATHERS

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No.

I used to love Father’s Day.  A quarter century ago, I was BORN on Father’s Day.  (So darling readers, I accept ecards, baked goods and Paypal) Before social media I never knew backlash against Father’s Day was even a thing.  Ah, ignorance was indeed bliss.  Now, this Sunday I might just avoid social media altogether because they have obliterated Father’s Day.  Father’s Day was pure, no religious separatism (Christmas, Easter), no Native Americans were harmed in the creation of this holiday (Columbus, Thanksgiving), wasn’t sullied by a three day weekend of debauchery (MLK Day, Memorial Day), it was an American holiday we got right….. Until Twitter can in with a steel chair when the refs back was turned.  Now its become a day of shaming, bitterness, and poor taste. 
It starts with #thedebate.  For what it’s worth I think its disrespectful to men and women for single mothers to try to “claim” the day, however it came to be that you’re now raising a child alone, be the best parent you can be that being said, you’re not a f@&*ing father.  It is literally that black and white.  It took two.  You caught the touchdown but someone, buckfoy or not, threw that muhfugga.  I’ve gotten into arguments over this position, been accused of judging, and having privilege; whatever.  I don’t need to know your life, you didn’t fertilize an egg. Case closed.

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No.

What probably annoys me more is #theshade.  Parents on social media dragging the others name through the mud for likes and retweets.  You wouldn’t go on stage in front of hundreds of friends, family and acquaintances and deliver a soliloquy about how this man YOU chose is this that and the third but you will write it on Facebook and hit post.  You wouldn’t speak at a function and badmouth the ones who aren’t there, but again you’ll taint your well wishes with qualifiers.  Perhaps this grinds my gears because people really pretend the internet and real life aren’t the same.  REAL people read your posts, REAL people are judging, REAL people will REALLY hurt you.

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No.

Rounding out this three headed monster is #theignorant.  The ones who use “fatherless” as a slur, the ones who do use this day to cast aspersions on single mothers.  There’s a difference between me saying a mother is not a father or keep your private matters private and some stay-at-home son judging a woman on who she chose to give her body to.  My father is present in my life but I’ll never act like that lends credence to my words over someone who was raised by a single mother.  Some perspectives I’ll never truly understand and I’ll never speak from them.  If only others would do the same, then well maybe Father’s Day wouldn’t be where it is.

Men don’t make a fuss over gifts, so the market will never make Father’s Day THAT big a deal.  It’s only been around about 40 years, so it’ll never catch Mothers Day (well over a century old), but what I hope Father’s Day will become is the good natured celebration it ought to be.  So this Sunday, I’ll probably chop it up with my pops, salute another year of not slipping one past the goalie, hit up the homies who did and watch the Finals.  No room for negativity in my life (especially my birthday week).

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… FATHERHOOD

Sister:”So when are you and “she” going to give me a niece or nephew”

Me: *drinks water pretending not to hear the question*

Sister: “I’m tired of being mommy i want to be an auntie too”

Nephew: “He doesn’t need a kid mommy, he has me”

4 years old. The kid is clutch.  What a difference a few months make, I’m not making as much as I was, I’m not in a stable relationship anymore, yet there are two constants: my nephew still that dude, and diversions aside I do want a child.  I’ve always wanted one.  Slipped a few past the goalie, God had other plans but out of everything I have ever aspired to be, a father has always been on the top of my list.  Yet at the same time, the prospects of fatherhood frighten me.  What type of parent would I be, what type of child will I bring into the world, what do I have to teach them, what do I have to learn?

If I have a son, what will he ultimately think of me? I look at the relationship with my father, there were times I truly disliked him, others I greatly admired him, overall I love and respect him even matured enough to understand him. He did his job, he raised a man, yet we’re not the closest. His father and he weren’t close until recently, maybe he looks at me and sees what type of son he was. I only hope to break the cycle with my own.

If I have a girl, what can I teach her about men today? I’m still currently the type of guy I wouldn’t want her with. Will she learn accountability and holding herself to the high standards, or will she be on Worldstar (every parent’s fear should be their child on Worldstarhiphop.com) Will she marry a man better than her father or settle for one like him?

Perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself, before I even get there, I want the ideal situation. I don’t want a baby mother, I want a wife so my children knows what a relationship is supposed to be. I don’t want a 3 bedroom apartment, I want a house to pass on. I don’t want to work 2 jobs to keep things afloat, I want a career I love and allows me to spend time and raise my children.

I’m only 24 so I have plenty of time to set myself up for the life I desire. But whenever I am feeling parental, wondering what if she kept it, I remember I’m still building my foundation. And I still got my nephew. He’s my little wingman.

-Stan-

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