My mother and grandparents were loving, caring, encouraging, and so much more. But what I needed as a young black boy growing up in SE D.C. was discipline. My stepfather quickly entered my life and began to instill that badly needed discipline in me through a$$-whoopings that traumatized me for life (jokingly serious...LOL). But I thank GOD for my stepfather because without him I would not have had any discpline nor a positive male role model who was in my life every day. While I didn't like how he instilled discpline while I was young, once I was older I realized how much it saved me! "Spare the rod, spoil the child" is so true!
This past weekend I purchased Lupe Fiasco's CD and began listening. I had been pumped about this release for like am onth already. When I got to track #7, "He Say, She Say" and listened to the lyrics, I almost cried. I remember calling Dane immediately because I knew he would relate to my feelings and what Lupe was saying 100%. That song hit home for me because I know how it feels to be in that young man's position. Wondering where your father is - knowing that he is out there and alive - is a very empty feeling.
In my situation, my father was in my life via phone calls or visits from time-to-time (I remember getting Legos wrapped in newspaper for my birthday), but by no means in the capacity that he should have been. As I got older my father and I actually became closer (especially in my college years) though we never spent time together on a regular basis. We could relate. He was a track athlete, I was a track athlete. He gave me advice on women. He gave me advice on life. He gave me peace of mind, because he opened up to me about him and my mother, why he wasn't around when I was young, and how bad he felt. I respect him alot for that.
But after having a positive and supportive father figure (my stepfather) in your life for so long, he begins to replace your father in terms of the relationship a father and son have. So while I was in middle and high school, I actually began to feel like I didn't need my father in my life. I just wanted to know him and who he was as a person and develop some sort of real relationship with him. Fortunately, I was given that opportunity during my college years. But unfortunately, my father passed a few months after I graduated from college and even though I learned alot from him about who he was, why he wasn't in my life, and who my family was...There was so much more that I'll never get to hear or see and that hurts.
My father was a good man and he loved his kids. He just made some bad decisions in life that he couldn't take back. We've all done that on one level or another. I've always loved my father and I am glad I had the opportunity to get to know him better. But because of our relationship I've always vowed to make sure I am a real father, and not just some figure in the distance...
I want you to be a father/
He's your little boy and you don't even bother/
Starting to use red markers on his work/
His teacher say they know he's much smarter/
But he's hurt/
Used to hand his homework in first/
Like he was the classroom starter/
Now he's fighting in class/
Got a note last week that say he might not pass/
Ask me if his daddy was sick of us/
Cause you ain't never pick him up/
You see what his problem is?/
He don't know where his poppa is/
No positive male role model/
To play football and build railroad models/
It's making a hole you've been digging it/
Cause you ain't been kicking it/
Since he was old enough to hold bottles/
Wasn't supposed to get introduced to that/
He don't deserve to get used to that/
Just breaks my heart/
When I try to provide and he say 'Mommy that ain't your job'/
To be a man, I try to make him understand/
That I'm his number one fan/
But its like you boo'n from the stands/
You know the world is out to get him, so why don't you give him a chance?/