How often do we take the time to celebrate fathers? On “Father’s Day” no doubt! So for this annual tribute, I want to acknowledge all fathers…past and present who have made a difference in the lives of their children…especially our Black fathers .
Because of the historical ramifications of injustice and oppression that has afflicted our black men since the beginning of time, being able to grow up with a father in the home is a feat in and of itself. And, having a father in the home, didn’t necessarily guarantee a loving, and stable environment as our Black men were either self-medicating from the wounds of their past or emotionally unavailable to the needs of their family.
I was raised by my stepfather who spent four years serving in the Vietnam War. He married my mother when I was about three years old. We had good times together as a family coming up, but he was soothing his post-war anguish and pain with alcohol and Marijuana; not to mention other childhood trauma he may have suffered and endured.
“But even the best dads make mistakes. There is no mistaking their love for their children.”
Father…Babai…Papa… Tatay…or Dad, whatever the cultural or ethnic name for a father – daughters and sons love to brag about them in honor of Father’s Day. Not just biological fathers. Uncles, foster dads, and step-fathers are – equally praised. The love for fathers and a father’s love for their kids clearly runs deep and is often expressed beyond, or maybe instead, of words. Father involvement has increased dramatically over the past several decades, and simultaneously, the role of fathers in their families has evolved from conceptions of fathers as distant breadwinners to a more holistic recognition that they are equal co-parents.
Fatherly love is critical to a child’s personal development. The influence of a father’s love helps develop and mold many men to also become more involved as a child nurturer. Also, a father gives his daughter a “Peek at the World of Men.” A father’s relationship with his daughter can be particularly profound in shaping her life, especially when it comes to her future relationships with men. This makes complete sense, considering that, for most young girls, her interactions with her dad are the first she has with an adult man.
Fathers, in general, have a hard time expressing their love and affection. They can be strict and adamant. However, fathers have a golden heart! They have a very subtle way of expressing their feelings.
A small token of appreciation, a thank you, is all you get when they are happy and proud of you. Dads are typically there during the hard times. Fathers are super proud when you succeed and are very critical about your mistakes because they see the butterfly effect associated with the small mistakes you commit.
Anyone can father a child, but being a dad takes a lifetime!
What are some of your Father memories?
Please share your comments…