On my 9th year of being a father

 

I recently paid for my daughter to go to a very cool summer camp and I suppose I should feel good about it but I don’t. I mean I do feel good about it. I feel great about her going to summer camp and having the opportunity to swim, hike, fish, and sing goofy songs but I’m not the least bit excited about the part where I pay for it. I know that being a good parent is all about sacrificing but sometimes it’s painful.

 

In my 9th year of parenting I’ve learned that wanting the best for my child and wanting the best for myself are almost always two opposing ideas. I would like to be able to go to the bar during happy hour and buy a group of beautiful black professional women a bottle of champagne, I would like to go on a shopping spree and tear the mall up, I would like to stunt for just once in my life.

 

But stunt for what? And stunt for whom? Alas, I realize that for the first 22 years of my life my main goal was to impress females. To dress in a manner that begged them to pay attention to me. To put myself in the places that I knew they were going to be, to convince them that I wasn’t as insecure as I always felt. But now, in my 31st year on this Earth, I understand that the only female’s opinion that truly matters is that of the one that was born unto me. When I am stressed I always keep her happy. I aim to liberate her consciousness on days that I feel as trapped as my brothers in the penitentiary. I love that little smart mouthed girl and I hope that when she is an adult she will be able to appreciate all of the daily sacrifices that are being made in order for her to have an amazing childhood.

-YB

Sacrifice

September 5, 2011

Entering my 7th year of fatherhood I am becoming more and more concerned about this thing called sacrifice. I have been questioning what the word means exactly and how consumed should I be by my own daily sacrifices. I have been wondering to what extent, if any, should I allow the sacrifices that I make for my child to move me off of the path toward my dreams.

Sometimes I feel like I’m using parenthood as an excuse to not dive head first into my literary pursuits. I once read about the great writer Terry McMillan taking her infant son on road trips up and down the Pacific Coast while selling thousands of copies of the then selfpublished book Waiting to Exhale.  Also the award-winning author Toni Morrison once admitted during an interview that on at least one occasion her baby son vomited on her manuscript while she was in the process of writing. She went on to say that she did not get upset nor did she throw the paper away, she just wrote around it.

My daughter is far from being a baby so I can’t say that she’s impeding my ambitions at all. I mean yes I am working, going to school, and trying to plan for her future but so what. I can’t let that be the reason why I don’t do all I can to share my gift with the world. The only person holding me back is myself. Now I just need to figure out how to get out of the way.     

-YB