Tag Archives: father’s day

Father’s Day Hangover Pt. 2

One of the cards I received Sunday…

​Maybe one of my favorite all-time movie dads, King Jaffe Jofer was right when he said “There is a thin line between love and nausea.” I wake up with a hangover every Monday after Father’s Day. I wonder if I’m the only person who feels like this. It’s possible so much recognition causes my body to go into shock and it needs to recover.
The gifts, the BBQ’s, brunches, and what have you are all cool (I’m jealous of you rare dads that get to have alone time that weekend). The reason why Father’s Day means so much to us patriarchs is very simple: validation for our work.

In spite of some issues, Father’s Day was amazing. My daughter Cydney wanted to have a barbeque for me and my favorite people-unfortunately my dad couldn’t make it-in attendance. My nephew wanted to try lemon pepper wings; I made that happen and he loved them. I taught Cydney how to ride a two-wheel bike. I got cards with handwritten notes from my kids and my best friend…and I contributed to a video for Attn: that racked over 100k views. My work was working.

Over the past week, I have been giving the word validation a substantial amount of thought. My good friend, K-Star made a joke in our group chat and it resonated with me. After every clever quip he made, he followed with “Good one, K-Star.” I thought it was brilliant.

K went on to say that he had been giving himself hi-fives all week and it made him feel great. Somewhere between finding it funny and believing my friend, I gave it a shot. I first tried it in the group chat and it felt pretty good. I then tried it out in real life. While working at my desk at a job I’m not too enthralled about, I gave myself these little hi-fives after completing each task. 

K-Star pointed out the elusive obvious, or the thing that was right in front of us and we didn’t see it. How often do we validate ourselves? More often than not, people tend to let their insecurities drive them. Our brains are wired to unconsciously push us into circumstances for us to say “I knew I was _____! See?!” The balance to this is that people have a slightly exaggerated viewpoint of themselves as well. For as much as we try to coerce ourselves into thinking we aren’t good enough, we do the same to say “I am great.”

More often than not, we look outward for this validation. There is nothing wrong with that because we are human creatures. However, we tend to neglect the person who matters the most: us. 

An hour after K shared his epiphany, I felt amazing. As a very competitive person, I wanted to keep finding things to do to tell myself “Good one, Chad.” My mood changed. I began to ask better questions and finish tasks in record time at work. My writer’s block completely went away and I began to pen a fairly ambitious project. Something as simple as giving myself an inner hi-five was the beginning of a paradigm shift.

By the time Sunday came along, external validation had greater intrinsic value. Maybe I felt hungover because my body was in shock from all of the validation. Good one, Chad. Good one, K-Star.

I think all of you reading this should give this a shot. Do it for a day and let me know how it made you feel.

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Father’s Day Hangover

 

Father’s Day is like a second birthday that you share with a lot of people.  You get phone calls, texts, emails, messages on social media, etc from some of everyone who are acknowledging what you feel is your greatest accomplishment  Men feel validated by their work and there are very few things that lift spirits like the appreciation on the third Sunday in June.

Fatherhood is rooted in providing and protection.  While we are nurturing, we are a different kind of caretaker.  We want to make sure everyone’s needs are met.  If anyone has a dream or a goal…what can we do to get our loved ones from their current location to the proverbial mountain top.  It’s mostly a thankless job, because the only people who really understand what you do and what it takes to make shit happen are other fathers.

This is the reason why I love Father’s Day in the age of social media.  I am thankful to say that I didn’t see anyone wishing their mothers a happy Father’s Day on any timelines.  Sure, there are no badges or tags to put on pictures like the “I Love Mom” one for Facebook (thus proving how little we give a shit about dad); but seeing how my friends and peers treated their fathers, grandfathers, and fathers of their children is heartwarming.  I enjoyed seeing the statuses in which the fathers themselves bragged about how much they were taken care of on their day.  It’s the kind of high that you’re more than happy to be feeling hungover from the next morning.

My favorite editor sent me a Happy Father’s Day text.  I replied “Thank you,” and she asked me what plans did I have for the day.  Then it hit me: the perfect metaphor to describe fatherhood…

I am a lifelong Yankee fan.  Yes, I grew up in Queens; but my grandfather was from the Bronx and I began following his favorite team because that’s who and what he watched.  I had a very hard time coaching my nephew’s baseball team this year because they were the Red Sox.  So for Father’s Day, my nephew organizes a trip for the boys and their families to Citi Field to watch the Mets.  While I am supportive of all New York teams, I’m not a Met fan.  It’s something to do and the tickets were bought for us all to have a good time; so I might as well take it for what it is and enjoy.

While I’m at the game, I gotta buy souvenir cups to get my money’s worth for this beer; which means taking home a Mets cup.  My five year old daughter is only but so interested, so she must be entertained and I can’t just watch baseball and do what I really want to do: get drunk.   Everyone has such a great time at the game, you can bet that everyone will want to and ask to go to more Mets games.  And you can’t say no; everyone thinks they’re doing the right thing and it’s something that you like: baseball.  They are attempting to bond with you even though it’s not the baseball team you like…you’ve been bred to not like the Mets and treat them like the never-do-right little brothers that they are.

Once again, you can’t say no because people’s feelings will be hurt.  You’re too deep in it to turn around, so you 1) Just go with it.  2) Suffer in silence until someone notices you at home watching a Yankee game and says “Oh, you’re a Yankee fan?!  I didn’t realize that,” and it opens up the door for dialog where you convince someone into what you want and make them think it’s their idea (This is the dream that NEVER happens).  3)  Suffer in silence.  or 4) Just give up and become a Met fan.  That is fatherhood in a nutshell.

After the game, I sat in my neighbor’s yard and explained to the fathers this epiphany I just had.  Ranging from new fathers to being a grandfather several times over, we all laughed and they agreed.

I say all of this to say Happy Father’s Day to all of the fathers who continue to read because I wrote it.  You are all appreciated.  Keep up the great work.  My work day is cut short because Cydney threw up this morning and is home.

Meme Crush Monday: To The “I Did It Myself” Single Mothers

 

This Meme Crush Monday is sponsored by my good friend and brother-from-another, Kalique…the biological father of two beautiful girls and the head of a blended family in which he is the paternal figure to his wife’s son and daughter.  He does any and everything for all four of his children and considers himself tertiary behind them and his spouse.  Salute, my g.

I write a post just like this every year around this time.  Why?  Because it’s needed.  I’m doing my civic duty.  I write about fatherhood and it is something that I am passionate about.  As a black father, I feel as if I am fulfilling parts of my universal purpose by giving a voice to a demographic that is mostly covered from a deficit rather than deductive standpoint.

Fathers only get two days a year: our birthdays and the third Sunday of June.  Right before, during, and maybe a day or two after Father’s Day, many of single mothers get to posting statuses, memes, pictures, tweets, and a myriad of other forms that relay the sentiment congratulating themselves or other mothers for Father’s Day.  Mohagany-a black subsidiary of Hallmark-had the unmitigated gall to green light and mass produce a card for children to give their mothers for a day for fathers.  Another company made a commercial echoing similar sentiments.  Word?!

Here’s the truth: for every absentee father, I know an equal amount of bad mothers.  If I am correct, the number of children born out of wedlock in black communities is around 72%.  Some mothers raise boys that unfortunately perpetuate and continue the cycle that they were born into, as well.  Does anyone shed light on these?  No.

I bring this up because nobody talks down or badly about those who aren’t the greatest mothers on the second Sunday in May.  We’re busy uplifting the matriarchs who are amazing, shitty, and absentee ones.  Because whether or not you’re a great one or not, you’re still a mother and you should be celebrated.

To the “I did it all of myself” tribe: no you don’t.  There are a couple of parents that really do 100% of their own.  However, they are the outliers of the bell curve.  To be an outlier means that you are truly the 1% of the world.  Many may feel that they don’t always have the emotional support and that makes them feel all by themselves.  I can relate to that, because often I feel emotionally isolated as a single parent.

For the most part, someone plays the role of father figure.  Grandfathers, uncles, older siblings, cousins, teachers, pastors, deacons, chaplain, imams, rabbis, khalifs, principals, community leaders, coaches, boyfriends, good friends, neighbors, landlords, that old guy in church that really loves kids and just has a way with them, Mr. Wendel that Arrested Development made that song about, etc.  Very rarely does someone live in an isolated bubble or vacuum in which there are no men to play a role of some sort.  I just wish that we did a better job celebrating the village that it takes to raise a child than isolating the ones that don’t.

My nephew has never had an interaction with his father…and he could give a fuck because he doesn’t feel as if he’s missing out.  I’m there.  There can and will be a day in which he will feel something because of this.  But when he has that Will Smith moment on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air moment, he’ll have his uncle who coached baseball and basketball, who gave him advice or girls, and how to turn his little hustle ideas into something enterprising in a way his mother never could because she can’t fully relate.

Mother’s Day, is Mother’s Day.  I have a lot of help with my daughter, Cydney.  Instead of patting myself on the back, I shift the love towards those who have been there.  I have even given gifts to girlfriends who have been played a role, even if it was temporary; just to show them appreciation for helping me out and being there.  They’re still an influence on Cydney.

My daughter’s mother is dead and she has no actual memories of her.  That in itself could make Mother’s Day a fairly somber day for both of us.  However, it makes me feel good to redirect that energy towards what I do have rather than what I-or my daughter-doesn’t.  Emotions are energy.  I learned in physics that energy cannot be created or destroyed; but it can be redirected.  So if a feeling is an energy, I can let the emotions hit me and have an impact; or I can use an action-love-to redirect said energy into another direction.  That’s a law of science; which is something that has been experimented on many times and always applies under the same conditions.

You can be the greatest mother of all time who was raised by a single father that had more children than the Jacksons and they’re youngest and only girl.  With all of that knowledge, they still can’t do what a father can.  Our minds-mothers and fathers-are wired differently; so at one point or another, there will be a disconnect when it comes to relating.  You can have all the experience in the world shaving your legs, under your arms, and even have a little mustache that needs to be tended to.  But you can’t fully teach him how to shave his beard against the grain because it grows differently and those are a different kind of razor bump because of how testosterone makes the hair grow.  You can’t explain fully explain your son how that first entry while having sex feels and that cloudy judgement from the climax feels because you don’t process it the same way.  You can’t explain to your daughter what to look for in a man and set an example or what kind of game to stay away from because you aren’t unconciously wired to be a bloodhound for insecurity like a man is who attracts who he currently is or what he is looking for.  I can’t do those things for my daughter, either because I’m a father-a single father-who on his best day knows I can’t do that, either.

I hope there is a June in which I don’t have to rewrite this from a different angle saying the same thing.  Maybe one day, I will write it well enough to redirect them to an old article.  Actually, I’m more than perfectly fine with doing it every year.

 

 

What Fatherhood Means To Me

Father’s Day is on Sunday. I’ve been beyond busy writing this book and dealing with life that I haven’t posted much here. I shared a rough draft of one of the essays yesterday. You should read it because I wrote it.

So with Father’s Day coming up Sunday I know I’m not getting what I want. I wanted to see Outkast perform at Governor’s Ball in New York last weekend and it didn’t happen. How it didn’t happen was beyond wack as hell but whatever. Other than that I’d like a day off. Not in the cards and I know Cydney is going to want to be attached to my leg all day. A trip to the beach and just getting a chance to be lazy would be nice, but at this point that too has a 50% chance of happening.

That’s being a father. Your role as protector and provider isn’t something you learn, it’s instinct. Being a father is a thankless job. Most of the things that we do go unnoticed because we make it seem effortless. You work all day and the look of what is really stress just seems like dad’s normal face so kids are desensitized to it. I don’t complain because I know my role as a man in the lives of the ones I love is that if servantude.

Being a father is about sacrifice and making it look seemless. I’ve been getting my hair cut once a month or every other month to save money to do little things like buy B’Donalds (ss Cydney calls it) as an after school snack or something like that. My money that I was saving for a car went towards paying for daycare, Easter, Cydney’s birthday party, and making Mother’s Day special with gifts for my mom, sister, and who Cydney has deemed her “honorary mom.” I’m happy to have done all of those things because making everyone else’s life just a little bit brighter makes me feel good.

I am writing this from my phone while receiving physical therapy at a chiropractor. On Saturday I got into a car accident while taking Cydney to soccer. We were late but I had to make sure Cydney got there to for her last day and I wanted to make sure Neighbour got her gum that she asked for. They seem like really small things that I’m paying for in the long run but that’s what I signed up for.

Being a father is about making time when you don’t have it. I’m never too busy for my daughter or loved ones. If there’s 168 hours in a week and I worked 90, slept 50, and commuted for 20 of them that still leaves eight for everything else. I’ll get my day off rest when I need it and I’ll dream my big dream of “me time.”

So yeah, Sunday will be like the one before it and the one before that. I’ll get my happy Father’s Day calls, texts, and such. But I’ll still be asked a million questions from kids and that too. I’m happy to do that. And Sunday night when everyone is asleep I will have a drink to myself and get ready to do it all over again Monday.

Happy Father’s Day

Father’s Day

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The last week has been pretty hectic.  Between writing and participating in a few projects for Father’s Day, continuing my efforts in looking for a new career, some novel writing, and of course Cydney; I have been going to sleep at 5AM and waking up at 8AM every day.  I didn’t even get around to writing my post that I had in mind on Friday.  I’ll save the idea for next year.

About two weeks ago, I was contacted by a journalist at TheRoot.com about possibly doing a profile piece on their page for father’s day.  She had been following the blog for some time.  Since then, we’ve had phone and in person interviews with myself and observations of Cydney and I in our element; lots of going through old paperwork, and many gchat conversations going good and into dusk verifying information to make her story as compelling and objective as possible.  She made attempts to get in touch with Timile’s parents, but spoke to other friends and family for insight were around for the whole ordeal.   I didn’t tell too many people about it because I didn’t want to get our hopes up because from previous experiences I know that not all articles make publications.

My plans on Saturday didn’t work out as I thought they would.  As I sat outside of Penn Station in Manhattan waiting for my 12:39AM train and a little over an hour to go, Diana send me a text saying “We’re LIVE!!!!! I hope you like it!”  Before that, to say I was irate is an understatement.  For the moment, my mood changed instantly.  I read the article that we both work hard on was on the front page of a major publication owned by the Washington Post.  Wow.

I read the article twice and called Diana back.  I told her I loved it and really appreciated her not only caring enough to write about Cydney and I, but for getting it.  That made being able to rest and spend the unofficial “Dads do nothing all day except receive a tie and barbecue day” much sweeter.  As much as that meant, the highlight of my Father’s Day: Cydney told me three times she had to go to the bathroom before having an accident (Two number ones and one number two!).  Minutes after I tweeted how excited I was that she only had one accident, she had another one.  That was a symbol.  Take a moment to enjoy this and then its back to work!

…btw, I will delve into detail about that last paragraph in Watch the Throne: Potty Training  pt. 9 on Wednesday.

Here is a link to the article.  Written by Diana Ozembhoya Eromosele, editorial fellow at TheRoot.com and owner of and the creator and executive producer of a web show that examines pop culture called Lectures to Beats:www.lecturestobeats.com.

The Weekend In Pictures: Father’s Day Edition

It’s been a busy weekend! Lots going on. I was a guest writer for one blog, Cydney and I contributed to another, and our first profile piece in a major publication all this weekend! Will post links tomorrow or tonight!  Happy Father’s Day!

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Chillin' at the mall
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I had no idea where this boy's mother was
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Blocks become skates in kid world
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My nephew's last baseball game
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Father's Day Brunch
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Still gotta do hair!
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Tea time!
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My father's day card from Cydney
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Signed by...
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My gift
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Some work done by Cydney
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Milner Ink
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My pops and me.
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Happy Father's Day! Number one slot. Most popular article. http://www.theroot.com