Category: Fatherhood

Mail Bonding

I wrote my 3.0 a letter last week.  It was for his 13th birthday.  Which would be cool if his birthday was in December.

His Birthday is October 14.

I was homeless on October 14, and writing a letter to my son was the exact last thing  I could do at the time. I called and we had the usual conversation on his mother’s cell phone.

“How are you How is school having fun playing football I am proud of you youre getting so big I am sorry I couldn’t make it to visit like I said I would  I am making changes to my life to be in a better place to be closer to you guys please take care of each other and look out for your cousin and your mother I love you so much. ”

Regardless of how up or down my life has been, the conversations with my sons have always been the same.

For my son’s 13th Birthday, I wrote a lot closer to what I felt.

I welcomed him to his first steps of manhood and proceeded to start apologizing for my failures.

That wasn’t smart.  Upon reading the letter, 3.0 was very distraught, feeling as though the pain I was feeling was at his hand, even as I took pains to exonerate them both  (him and his brother) from blame.

Ex#1 was very evenhanded in encouraging me to continue to write to him, but not to go so hard on myself, as it was obvious that any pain I felt hurts 3.0 just as much.

The darndest thing happened Come Monday when I called them for Christmas.

I didn’t talk to him about the letter..i just talked to him

We just talked…about whatever. Music, Gifts, Family, His favorite Basketball player (Derrick Rose) the way his Mother and Stepfather ridicule 3.1 for Picking up and putting down Football teams to support. (He is a Saints fan, largely because no one will allow him to change teams for the 4th time in 7 years)

From a painful letter…a new path was forged.  My birthday isn’t until June, But this is the best present I have gotten in years.

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More Change we can Believe in.

Remember all that fuss about Obama’s Father’s Day speech?

No, probably not.  It was foolishness anyway, so let’s move on.

 

In this article by the American Prospect, you can find a good idea of the kind of weight that Obama wants to put behind the rhetoric.

 

Whatever the cultural or political reasons for Obama’s high-profile Father’s Day speech, behind the rhetoric is a new way of thinking about fatherhood. Obama is advocating for a specific agenda designed to remove barriers that discourage fathers from paying child support, eliminate policies that punish married couples who are working to get off public assistance, and grant public funding to proven nonprofit organizations that help men transition into better jobs, including those re-entering society from incarceration.

I read articles like this ne and I get almost apopleptic (yes, literally) about the overall discourse that exists in ths campaign.

I don’t need 24 blog posts about how YT don’t like me and my cousin.

I NEED folk to REALLY cut through the foolishness and get into the TRUE substance of it all.

It is out there, I promise you.  Let’s get after it, people.

I ain’t got all damn day. No one Does.

I wonder how some of y’all do it.

I got idols role models in this game who bring it on the regular,  Posting regularly with insights and genius day after day.

Between my sons and the plantation and the wife, not to mention my own focus issues, I do well to get one or two real posts out a week.

It isn’t that I don’t have the time, necessarily.

but by the time I get my reading and my usual online banking and bill paying done, I am way past the time regular folk should be online.

The wife says to me that I am addicted and that something needs to change.

I don’t know that I need to start hitting meetings or anything like but something is going to have to give.

The wife has decided that I spend every non working waking hour online.

Of course, this is an exaggeration, but even Barack Obama will tell you that life is much more about what people THINK is than what actually is.

So, watch with amazement while I try to be online less and get more done online.

*sucks teeth and logs off*

Home.

One of Kanye’s best.  What possessed him to redo and recycle it with that Coldplay cat, is beyond me.

I cannot tell you how glad I am to be home.  Vacations are all well and good…but it is time to make the donuts

Got a whole lotta stuff going on I wanna write about and hopefully I can get to it before it goes stale.  Nothing worse than writing a stale post.

The boys are sleeping on the couch until I can get the beds delivered and put together.  They are excited to be here, but not nearly as much as I am excited to have them here, if only for a month.

Why I give Barack Obama a pass

There are a fair number of folk who support Barack Obama who are rather non-plussed at his speech given on Saturday.

You will not find me to be one of them.

I have read and watched the speech and I found it to be pitch perfect…challenging without being accusatory. Equal parts accusation and exhortation.

I find it interesting that most of those who take issue do not take issue with the speech so much as they do with the coverage of said speech and the general habit of the general consensus of white folk to instigate whenever “good” Black folk take “bad” Black Folk to the woodshed in public(all y’all down ass white folk hush, i know y’all understand…or at least think you do).

There is nothing THEY like to see more than to have a Black person (especially one who has the near universal acceptance of Black folk) saying all the things that White folk know they want to, but cant.

There are two specific reasons that I have chosen to issue this sparkling rhetoric Pass.

1. He’s earned it.

Say what you want about Barack Obama, he is the standard by which all Black Husbands and Fathers are now measured. Unlike the former standard, Heathcliff Huxtable, he is not a fictional character. Barack Obama is the living embodiment of the working father who is actively involved in the life of his children. Mr. Obama is not merely the breadwinner…he is an active participant who shapes his schedule around ensuring that he is a participant in the lives of his children. if ANYONE is going to lecture ME (who I remind you is a non-custodial father) about whatever shortcomings I may have as a father, it would be Barack Obama. The man walks the walk…he can talk the talk.

2. It is his JOB, dammit.

It would be different if the numbers aren’t what the numbers are. It would be different if single parenting wasn’t the norm. It would be different if the speech wasn’t a WHOLE speech, one that outlined the problem, acknowledged the stakes and offered solutions. It would be different if…if men (and not just Black men either, mind you) weren’t fucking up so bad.

Yo, every two weeks I start off $373 in the hole, after taxes in the name of child support. I do pretty well, but I don’t do well enough to not notice 7 and a half bills trotting off into the ether, cause Lawd knows the former Mrs. Ink doesn’t issue spending statements on where the $ goes once it leaves my payroll statement.

And that’s fine. It isn’t for me to worry about the fiduciary arrangements of her household. I can verify that my sons are well cared for and that is all that I need concern myself with

What I can say with certainty in the days of 4 dollar a gallon gas and 4 dollar a gallon milk, is that times would be harder on the boulevard without that money. That, boys and girls, is what we mean when we say “charge it to the game”.

Just as important, is having a face and a purpose to that $. Babies do not grow by bread alone.

End of the day, though…it is simply like this.

If you are on your job, this speech is about encouragement. to maintain.

If you are not…this speech is about exhortation.

To take it as anything other is just a lot of Hit dog Holleration. And that is not cute at all.

The Obligatory Father’s Day Post

First, let’s hear it for the official Father’s Day HipHop song.

Father’s Day has never been easy for me.  My father wasn’t really big on staying in one place or keeping contact with me enough for me to send him cards and stuff in the mail and my step-father passed away when I was 13.

As a father, my record has been far more inconsistent than I would like and frankly, aside from a phone call I got from the boys in 2006, I do not remember getting anything from them.

I didn’t get a call or a card from them this year and I would be lying if it didn’t hurt a bit.

I am writing this today on behalf of a group of fathers who often get left completely out of conversations about the current state of fatherhood.

I am not one of those picturebook Father of the Year candidates.

I am not a sperm donor, either.

I am part of the massive middle ground of fathers who are active in their children’s lives but their relationships are complicated by life and the choices it presents.

My ex has been dating the same man for over 6 years now and my sons speak of him in glowing terms having recently progressed to calling him their step-father.   He doesn’t have any children of his own, and if I know my ex, as long as he is with her, the only children he will have a part in raising are my two.  To him I offer a sincere thank you and a Happy Father’s Day.

The relationship I enjoy with my children exists almost solely at the discretion of my ex-wife.  She is usually supportive of my attempts to remain in their life, but sometimes I wonder.

The details paint all adult parties involved in a light that has both positives and negatives.

As Father’s Day winds to a close, I would encourage you to stop short of painting every non-custodial father in the same light.

There are truly eight million stories in the naked city.

Happy Father’s Day to all.