As a boy, we often want to become MEN. I knew I was a family-oriented person, but I did not think of it as becoming a Dad, but a Man. In all reality, there should be no distinction between manhood and dadhood, but there is. Now, rather than blame society, which would be to easy and has become cliche, I want to think about how I can rectify that distinction in my own son.
There is a stigma about the road men take through life. The more independent, adventurous, spontaneous, and reckless we are, the more “manly” we are. Now I know that people say it takes a real man to raise their children, and i agree with that, but no child says he wants to be a dad when he grows up?
Hmmm…. Maybe this is not the right way to explain what I’m trying to say. I think that the conflict comes when there is an implication that you are less of a man because you are a good dad; that you are less of a man because you are smitten by your wife; that you are not a “Real Black Man” because you have not walked out on your kids and you are planning to pay for them to go to college and not get a “contract” and buy you a house. As if I’m doing something wrong by letting my children’s dreams hinge on my actions instead of my dreams hinge on their successes. This is where the conflict lies. Maybe these are all common insecurities, but if I had a DAD of my own, I could talk to him about it. But I don’t. I was told that a father is never done raising his children; that he will always be available to help them out, well, I lost that when I was still in my teens. So who is supposed to help me continue my growth into manhood and dadhood?