One of my favorite tv shows growing up was The Cosby Show. Seeing a show portray a black family in a positive light was great to see. Mr. and Mrs. Huxtable were able to balance work and family time pretty well. They handled Theo having a joint in his textbook with ease. When Rudy wanted to wear a summer dress to a winter birthday party Claire nipped that situation in the bud. Remember when Vanessa lied and snuck off to a concert in Baltimore? She came home and Claire went 0-100 real quick. I know my mother would’ve flipped on me for lying and sneaking somewhere late at night. Pretty sure you have too.
What I liked most about the show was the relationship between Cliff & Theo. When Theo was depressed about his girlfriend, Cliff helped him shake it off by singing the blues.
The classic dialogue between the two regarding the four D’s Theo brought home from school and then his aspirations to be a “regular person” can never be forgotten. “I BOUGHT YOU IN THIS WORLD, I’LL TAKE YOU OUT.” Cliff had to put the baby deliveries on hold to be a father.
My pops and I aren’t Cliff and Theo. I didn’t get those talks. I didn’t receive those mental jewels I thought a father should pass down to his son. The only advice I got was wear a condom and don’t do drugs. Sound advice, yes, but is that all the advice I deserved?
My folks split when I was about 16. I moved with my mother and sister and from that point hatred & anger towards my father began to brew. Communication was scarce. He was a stranger to me. During college, I never spoke of him to anyone. Felt like he left me out here to fend for myself. I had my mother of course but like Reva told Furious in Boyz In Tha Hood, “I can’t teach him how to be man, that’s your job.”
My mother tried to do the right thing and put mentors in my life. Wasn’t feeling that wave. I didn’t want a mentor, some dude I barely knew. I wanted my dad. I wanted him to teach me how to grow and be a man. I mean isn’t that what a father does? If its not, then let me conclude this story right now and bust a stupid dope move.
am I suppose to hate this dude forever?
I could but hate stunts your growth. A cycle was started. This cycle started before I got here. This cycle of a distant love or just not being a present role model. I can’t be mad at his conditioning. This cycle will be broken though. I’m gonna break it! Although its hard for me to want to bring a life into this world because of how twisted this country is, if I do have a son I will groom him to be the best version of himself. I will not hold 25 years of observation, applied knowledge, and wisdom from him. He needs it. Raising a black boy today is crucial. I don’t think I need to dig into the reasons, I hope you know why by now. I trust you do.
I realized I was mad at my old man for not being the father I wanted him to be. Instead I should’ve just accepted him for who he is and be thankful. My pops is alive and healthy, riding motorcycles, delivering mail and cracking jokes.