Saturday’s have been designated as my oil change day. Those of you who know me personally, know that I am regimented when it comes to this endeavor (and others for that matter, lol). I make sure that I am at the shop no later than 30 minutes prior to opening. Making sure not to become bored, I bring my computer and a book (hey, I’d rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it).
As I pulled up in the parking lot, I was greeted by two boys (maybe ages 5 and 7) bouncing a basketball with a gentleman. After observing their interactions, I gathered that the boys were brothers, playing with their father. As their mother looked on, I heard such endearing comments, such as, “Look, Daddy, look! Watch me!” The subtle, yet intense yearning for approval was quite evident as one child bounced the ball, while looking at his father. In return, I could see this man, with such care, simply nod at his boys, satisfying the attention they so eagerly craved.
As they continued playing, I imagined that their mother felt at peace, watching her “men” play nice together. It reminds me of the peace of coming back home after being away on travel. The smell of your place, the coolness of the air conditioning as it caresses your tired, weary body. You drop your bags on the floor, laying back on your comfortable bed, with a mattress that seems to have memorized all of the muscles that need relaxing, as you softly nestle into your “spot”. Ahhhhh. That’s what she must’ve felt, seeing her husband play with their sons. I could see love radiate throughout her face; so much so, that I began to smile myself. “This is what love looks like,” I thought to myself. What a sight to behold. I could feel the authenticity of that love.
This sight was particularly touching to me because it is not often that this phenomenon called fatherhood is seen in my community (The African American community). I grew up in a household with both of my parents, and this is something that I become more thankful for: daily. As a teacher, I am exposed to many types of families. Some of the families are complete, and some are not, for various reasons. I am not here to pass judgement, but simply to proclaim that fathers are needed in every home, everywhere, everyday. Not to diminish the roles of mothers, but fathers bring so much to the equation. I encounter females who spend a lot of time grinning in boys’ faces, and I immediately can tell why this behavior has surfaced. I can remember having a conversation with one of my female students (after exemplifying said behavior). I asked her, very gingerly how everything was at home. She informed me (in short) that she was upset at her father for some of the choices that he made (leading him to incarceration). As she told me this, tears were streaming down her face. It melted my heart so, but I had to maintain my composure. The best that I could offer was an embrace, assuring her that everything would be alright. I also offered a listening ear if she was in need of one.
As thoughts of that conversation slowly dissipate, I am reminded that the job of a father is never done, and honor is to be given where honor is due. Fathers lead their children, rather they’re there or not. If fathers don’t show their daughters attention, the streets will.
In closing, there’s no substitution for a father: PERIOD.
Good night, God Bless, and love your children dearly.
Until next time……Love & Peace.