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NUMB

I took my youngest sister to see the new PIXAR film INSIDE OUT over the weekend. Almost everybody knows I’m a big kid so I was probably more excited to see it than she was.

inside out poster

I don’t want to spoil the movie for anyone, but let’s just say it gave me a better understanding of how I personally process and deal with occurrences in my daily life and how one begins to feel NUMB.

Fathers Day was Sunday and as I mentioned in my last post I don’t think I ever spent a single Fathers Day with my biological father. I went by his brother’s house where I saw him last, in March, hoping that I could at least say we were in the same room for Fathers Day. He wasn’t there.

I asked my uncle’s girlfriend if he had gone down south with his other brother for the weekend and her facial expression let me know that he had returned home, and by home I mean JAIL.

Jail-Cell

I so nonchalantly continued my conversation with her about how there must be A/C in jail (my uncle’s don’t believe in A/C) because he’s not ever out in the summer months. (I haven’t cared enough to notice that pattern; she pointed it out to me). I’ve become numb to his circumstances and lifestyle.

I’ve been hurt by other men in my life. Sometimes I cry. Most times I write, or vent to friends, but then I get numb; and it’s as if that person never existed.

Even the happy memories of them no longer fill me with JOY.Joy-inside-out

I looked back at some photos of me with Buddha, and tried to remember that I didn’t always think of him with such disdain. I was smiling in most of the photos. All of which were taken at least 15 years ago. Even seeing myself smile in photos doesn’t make me think of him in a positive light. But then again, you can’t really expect to feel consumed with happiness from photos you don’t remember taking with a man you’ve rarely seen in the past two decades of your life.

I don’t fear him.Inside-Out-Fear

I’m no longer angered by thoughts of him.Inside-Out-Anger

His presence doesn’t disgust me.disgust

My memories of him don’t make me sadsadness

and even photos plastered with smiles don’t help me associate him with JOY.Inside-Out-Joy

I’m NUMB

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Father’s Day

A Few weeks ago, I contacted my father’s other daughter to tell her I’d be in Jersey in a few weeks and I’d like to see her while I was there.

It wasn’t until after I hit send that I realized that, that weekend would be Father’s Day. For a brief moment I was consumed with an anxiety that she would want the two of us to spend Father’s Day with Buddha. It was another few days after that when I came to the realization that I’ve never, or at least I can’t recall spending a single Father Day with my biological father.

Buddha

My Father’s Day post is dedicated to the young men I see defying negative stereotypes. I admire them for being the type of father I wish I had. These are men I knew in adolescence that Social Media has allowed me to see blossom into better Daddies than the one I was born to, despite the circumstances they face. I went to high school with a young man full of life & energy who kept my art classes filled with humor. I observed his relationship develop and mature until his girlfriend switched high schools during our senior year. She moved out of state but he loved her and visited her and from this relationship a child was made. I was away my freshman year of college when their daughter was born.Nellz

When their relationship broke down I watched my friend and former classmate fight for full custody of their child and WIN! Unlike an episode of Judge Mathis may have you believe, he didn’t seek custody in an attempt to avoid child support, he truly believed that he was the best person for his child to remain with. He does her hair, paints her nails, takes pride in being able to help her with homework and doesn’t feel like less of a man for it. It fills me with joy when he chooses to share prized moments in his journey of parenthood. She recently graduated kindergarten and even having never physically met this child I envy her relationship with her daddy and felt like WE made it. 25 years old and he’s been there for his daughter every step of the way.Money SHot

I’ve been an onlooker into another fatherhood that’s slightly more complicated. This young man and I are from the same home town and although I can’t be sure I’ve ever met him in person he started randomly appearing more frequently in my Facebook timeline.
Az and Kids

He had two children whom he adored and then one day two became one. I won’t divulge the details of this personal matter without his consent, but he was open enough to respond to my inquiries in his inbox.Az and AMARE

You can’t turn off being a DAD whether you’re a child’s father or not. It was evident in his actions as well as in his response to my inquiry that he was more than a Facebook father searching for likes. He cooks for his kids, enjoys watching their favorite movies, even if it means watching it 20 times in one day. He misses them when they aren’t in his presence, he cares.

Az Nyla AmareJust like Step Dad #1 has continued to be there for me despite the wishes of my sister’s father, and just like my sister’s father has continued to provide for me without question. I see an influx of single father’s being overlooked by the media storm that is single motherhood. Some of my closest male friends in childhood view their children as their greatest accomplishments, and I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing their dedication to building strong LOVED children. I’ve been observing co-parenting from my peers when my parents couldn’t seem to get it right and I Want to honor them. Happy Father’s Day to young Daddies who have gotten it right!    Niyah and Nellz

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Daddy Magic

I saw this video on Facebook last night. This father describes that magic I wrote about in my last post. That magic in the myth that little girls are enough to inspire changes in their fathers. Spark pride and emotions men find it difficult to express. I’m a sucker for videos like this. It reminds me that even if I didn’t have those experiences, there are still little girls in the world with Daddies who are not only unafraid, but take pride in sharing their love of their daughters. Just as this father expressed how he knew upon her arrival that his life had to change, Daddy’s have magic too. Not just the scare away monsters & kiss boo boos better kind of magic. The kind of magic that filled this little girl with so much love she cried & hid her tears for lack of knowledge on what to do with what she was feeling inside.

My mother always says “Be Careful who you lay down with, you may wake up attached to them for life”

In other words, choose the Daddy with the kind of magic you’ll be glad to be surrounded by for the next 18+ years it takes to raise a child. For the men, BE THE DADDY with the magic that makes eyes misty from love and admiration. Let your daughters know they are worthy to have songs and raps written about their presence & not just their appearance.