Be fearless, like your father!

Fatherhood is by natural order a rite reserved for men; however, the responsibilities of that rite have no reservations with any particular sex, which is evident by the growing number of women raising future fathers. So, it is logical that when we acknowledge Father’s Day that we acknowledge those who assume the responsibilities in the rite of fatherhood.” —Tshombe Sekou

 I celebrated my first Father’s Day with my wife and daughter, which dawns as one of the greatest honors: to be a father. It’s 5a.m. and on my side of the bed stood my wife and daughter holding an envelope with my name on it, which contained my very first Father’s Day card signed in ink by my two-month old daughter—hand guided by her mother of course; I was ebullient with joy. We attended Father’s Day brunch with friends, and Nina and I danced to the live jazz while the room watched us in full elation. Fatherhood, a bold and faith-filled frontier: an unknown waiting to be embraced, curtained to be filled with mistakes turned success, laughter and sighs, and many moments too ineffable for context. The lessons to learn and teach in the same session, simply incredible!

 Suddenly, in this itimate moment of dancing with Nina, I am thinking of my Father, a man who taught me many lessons; though my thoughts were more focused upon what kind of son had I been. Had I been obedient, attentive to his tutelage, focused upon his direction? My father, a Marine, who was to me what he never knew himself: a father. He traveled much, mostly for business, when he was absent my mother filled his role as the pedagogue; nevertheless, I knew him and he was there when needed. This thought puts me in a completely random moment, where once he carried me for several blocks while I grimaced in pain after busting my knee in a playing accident; he carried me home, but what I remember most was thinking that my father, stern and firm was fearless with his son while spectators looked on; I remember hoping that I was not embarrassing him, so I held my whimpers to a minimum, “Be a man, I told myself; be like your father, fearless!”

So, how does this make me into this moment, this moment in a crowded room unafraid to dance with my daughter? Is this fatherhood: diligence to the development and absent the fear of love for the seeds that will someday become themselves and us? I wonder will she remember this dance as I do the remnant memories of childhood things with my father…

 Happy Father’s Day!

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