Hmm, I can still recall the phone call I placed to my girlfriend from the Air Force boot camp in 1983 “I’m pregnant”! A wave of emotions rush through out my body, excitement, nervousness and fear. For the most part fear on how we would explain to our parents! I acknowledge now that I didn’t have a clue on the rearing of child, let alone teaching and guiding our new born son. I relied on what I observed as being raised by my parents.
Prior to hearing “I’m pregnant”, we were both aware of our CHOICE in having sex and the CONSEQUENCES of unprotected sex! As we both entered the parenting role, I was confronted with being a Dad and a Father. Hello, reality kicked into high gear as I held my son in my arm, bathed him and changed his diapers.
Being a sincere Father and Dad is a responsibility and accountability to that individual “man” in raising the child. Not knowing how to rear a child should have been my first clue, “I’m not ready to be a father/dad”, but I had more “pleasure” on my mind than parenting. Maturity, both physically and spiritually is a necessary “Growth Process” to acquire first in becoming a father/dad.
The day I got the call from my girlfriend in 2004 I was enjoying a day off from work with one of my friends when my phone started, and when I answered it I could tell there was some uneasiness in her voice I said “baby what’s wrong?” she said “I’m pregnant baby.” Immediately I stopped dead in my tracks as I was walking to my room the only words I could utter out was “how do you know?” The phrase that Usher said on his Confessions album those were the only words I could think of at the moment. She told me she had been crying as she was sitting in her car with the three pregnancy tests she had taken. When I hung up the phone I was in disbelief not because she told me she was pregnant, but here I am at the age of 21 about to have a baby and I was still a baby myself sure I had my own place and steady income working at Toys R US and the Air Force but a baby my mind wandered as I smoked a black and walked outside my apartment complex saying to myself “I’m going to be a daddy.”
On January 20th 2005 as I was getting ready for work eating some Mickey D’s I got a phone call saying “Curl you better pack a bag the baby is coming today her water broke.” I was like “wait the doctor said the due date is February 6th that’s not today.” She laughed as she said “boy bring your butt down to the hospital your baby girl coming today.” I dropped everything I was doing well almost everything I finished eating my hot n spicy it was far to good not to finish. As I darted out the door I called my boss to inform him I wouldn’t be coming to work today due to my baby coming. As I arrived at Terrebonne General Hospital my girlfriend was already doped up on medicine, and I knew they gave her that good stuff because she didn’t realize I was there until after she have given birth to our daughter she said “when did you get here?” I said “really I been here I was holding your leg as you pushed.”
As I sat in the chair holding my daughter looking into her eyes as she had no idea who she was looking at I told her “Hello Akaiya I’m your daddy” those words echoed in my head as I said to myself wow im somebodies daddy with a smile on my face thinking today is my proudest moment ever. Now no matter the advice I was given on raising a child nothing amounted to, or could prepare me for the changes in my life especially those funky diapers “Oh My God what is in that baby food!” were my exact thoughts as I changed her diapers, and “do all babies smell like this, or is it just you my god forget these baby wipes you getting a bath child.” Regardless of the countless diapers I changed, or sleepless nights I experienced being a father was a reward all in itself that I was happy to be apart of, and till this day when I hear my daughter say “Daddy” my hear smiles as I think back to the very first day and exact moment I held her in my arms and looked into her eyes.
Being a father not just a parent to me is the best thing in the world there is nothing else better well hitting the Powerball is a close second but being a father is hands down number one. As men we have to understand that we are our daughters first love in a man as when she gets older she wants the man she loves to be just like her Father. With our sons they are us reborn again your mother will remind you constantly he is just like you when you were a baby, but before our sons grow up and say they want to be like Jordan they will say “I want to be like my daddy,” and as a man that’s a proud moment when your son tells you that but as a father we will tell our sons I want you to be better than me let nothing or nobody detour you from your dreams or aspirations. The joys of being a father is endless its a reflection of us how we pride our self in not only our children, but as being fathers that make a difference in our kids life.