Dear Desiree

How are you Desiree,

I hope this will find you doing well and good. This month of April has been filled with great experience. Mostly like any other day, but with a few hidden gems scattered around, as I was able to learn a few things about myself. I tell you a lot of growth has been happening for me. What I want to talk to you about today, is something that will make me seem more human or possibly inhuman.

I mean I remember when I was young I thought those who looked after me, like my mother, father, grandparents, god parents, etc… were all godlike creatures, I didn’t know where they came from and how they were able to do what they were able to do. I probably even took it for granted. I discovered as I got older but the initial feeling is exactly how I thought of them. I really didn’t have to worry much other than what I wanted to worry about.

I say all this to say, for the first time I was worried, scared that as a father, I may not be living up to the bargain. You know after I talk with a few people just about life in general, I’ve come to acknowledge the difference between a household that does not have a father and one that does. As you know my father was a breeze of cold winds. He was here, there, than flight took him elsewhere. Not only did I not have first hand accounts of what manhood was, I’ve become heavily invested with the women that surrounded me. Just through our interactions I am seeing so much that I missed and I question am I teaching you the right thing, am I going about it the right way. While I know most parents will struggle with this concept at times, you cant help what you don’t know.

What I do know is that mothers are amazing. And not to take anything from any other mother but the black mother in specific, my mother, your mother….and her support group, I tell you they are nothing short of magicians, and they don’t hear it enough not from the husbands ( I apologize to your mother for not making it clear enough to her, because I know I probably don’t) and definitely not from any other person. The strength of these women say something I can’t even describe, especially in a single parent household. However, a fathers love is so much different, it provides stability and balance. I look at your mother and she is amazing in showing love and tenderness, she is always there in front of your face making sure all is well nurturing, building, mothers are never to far away from their babies. You know I see it quite clearly mothers are hear to pick you up, to pick fathers up, to pick the world up and do it in such a way that you never realized that you were hurting.

A fathers approach, maybe its just my approach is, intimately different and maybe seen in a horrendous way. While I am always there, I encourage your exploration, I encourage your feelings of hurt, I encourage experiencing good, bad, the ugly, most of all I encourage your resilience. One day mother and father will not be here and you will have to be responsible for yourself. I personally believe that a lot of the behaviors we see from children and adults are habits or learned behaviors and unless we’re shown or learn otherwise our responses or rather reactions can be misleading and unfortunately be cause to some unfortunate ramifications.

So when you slip and fall and begin crying, mom will rush over and make sure that you are perfectly fine and will sooth the soul of you to a calm, I more than likely will let you cry and while painful its only to see you pick yourself back up,the whole time I will be right next to you with a type of fatherly moral support, but I will not interfere with this experience unless I have to. The lesson is no matter how much you hurt you can always pick yourself back up. And once you do that, you will see that Dad is right there, next to you and never left your side, even for a second, I hope that you will experience a self soothing comfort and reinforcing comfort with all the love as I will have never left your side. Subliminally I guess its also to show that you will always be able to come to me.(keep in mind certain matters call for certain measures so it will more than likely play out differently in some instances)

When I think of my childhood and that void of teaching yourself the ways of a man, half of it fantasy, the other half experiences I seen through other parents, I just question, Am I A Good Father…I mean your only a few months over 1. You know maybe this is where that effect comes in when a child is told wait until I tell your father, I believe our nurturing to be on par with mothers while one speaks on the level able to give through past experiences.

I read somewhere that the most important time of a child’s life with their parents starts from the moment they are born all the way up until they graduate high school. Pretty much after that you will be determining things for yourself without the full influence of dad and mom. This is when you will begin to truly apply what you’ve learned from us, this is when you will determine whether what we taught you is right or wrong for your journey, you will have to do for self, fall by yourself, and determine who you are, and I can’t shake the feeling right now that while your at a young age am I doing this right.

If I was to ask myself what a good father was when I was younger it would have been just to be present. I wouldn’t ask for the teachings I wouldn’t ask for anything other than the presence and a connection

With you I see that its so much more than a presence and I’ve had my ups and downs on the journey I should take, how I should be better, so that I could raise you better as you will be the reflection of me and your mother. So please forgive me and my hiccups along our exploration of life and know that if I have ever done something that you will ever hold onto (as we all do) please understand that everything I do or your mother does is strictly to benefit and prepare you for something greater in your life. However we can only teach you from our experiences, our expectations, our perception so a lot of what you take in will ultimately come from you.

Well Until next time love… I hope today will be the grandest of days.

Love Always….

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3 responses to “Dear Desiree

  1. J, your letter is full of such vulnerability and wisdom. It’s the best one I think you’ve written Desiree yet. I loved this:

    “I more than likely will let you cry and while painful its only to see you pick yourself back up,the whole time I will be right next to you with a type of fatherly moral support, but I will not interfere with this experience unless I have to. The lesson is no matter how much you hurt you can always pick yourself back up. And once you do that, you will see that Dad is right there, next to you and never left your side, even for a second…”

    Others who read that might disagree with you, but our son was an only child till he was ten. We knew there’d be no more babies, and we did WAY TOO MUCH coddling him and fighting his battles for him. It handicapped him in so many ways. Still at 37. We meant well, but over the years I’ve come to realize it’s produces the exact same effects that being neglected does. Our job should have been to let him experience life, but to be sure he didn’t feel ignored or abandoned, which it sounds like you have your own scars from. I applaud your attitude. We just needed to let go and learn to celebrate his victories (small as they were) with him so he knew we thought he was capable of doing things on his own.

    So please forgive me and my hiccups along our exploration of life… That is such a gift, to make a child understand we’re only human as parents BEFORE they hit 40 or 50 and find out their folks were not perfect — usually in some negative way.

    Your letter really touched a chord in me this morning. I admire you so much for your hunger to learn and grow. And these letters are such a treasure. Hope you have a safe deposit box for them somewhere! It would be tragic if Desiree lost them before she could read them. {{{J}}}

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks so much! I never knew how difficult raising a child is and you only have your experiences to offer. I am sure some would disagree with my methods but I can only help her the way I know how based on my experiences. We as parents are limited to what we can teach based on teachings that were bestowed upon us and at some point as we grow we can make our own decisions based on whats best for us individually. Its a tall order but I believe that where theres a will there is a way. Thanks so much for your comment and taking the time to read. I hope that when my little Desiree is old enough to read and comprehend what I am trying to share with her, she will have appreciated it and understand our decisions. You know the vulnerability in me speaks to that in others, hopefully we will be able to learn from each other 🙂 That’s what writing is all about for me, its a bonus if you can find a way to make it entertaining 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, we tend to parent in the same way we’ve been parented. Sometimes that needs to be interrupted, but you sound like you had some great role models around you, even if one of them wasn’t your dad. Trust your gut. At least you’re intuitive enough to know WHAT you were missing and needed.

    Liked by 1 person

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