Kickin' it with Kin
He was huge, dark, strong, mean and stiff…
Until 1997 my brothers and I grew up in South Central Los Angeles. 2225 S. Harvard Blvd to be exact. We were amongst the only kids in our neighborhood growing up in the household with both our mom and dad. Mom was the sweetest woman in the world and Dad was like the beast on “Beauty and the Beast”.
Pops was the cool and loving prince often enough and then he turned into the scary aggressive beast when it was time to discipline us. He was huge, dark, strong, mean and stiff when he had to be.
I was the mean kid that reflected him more than either of my brothers. I wanted to be just like my daddy until his wrath came down on me, and then I wanted to be nothing like him. I grew up wondering if my daddy didn’t like me but I knew he loved me.
One cool summer day, 18 years later me and my pops had a conversation while watching my sons play basketball. In the midst of this conversation I could see my pops trying to fight his emotions and hold back the tears. Before I knew it, I witnessed a tear fall from behind the prescription sunglasses that he we was wearing. At the same time my dad uttered,
”You forget my dad died when your brother was only a few months old. Then your mother and I had you and your baby brother. I had to learn how to be a father on my own! No one taught me how to be a daddy”.
It was at that moment that everything made since to me. It was at that moment that I had forgiven my dad for everything I thought he did wrong. It was at that moment that I apologized for everything I thought I did wrong growing up. At that very moment I was sad for him, I was angry at myself but more importantly I understood him. At that very moment I was proud of my daddy!
Its hard enough for a man to admit he doesn’t know what he’s doing in any case. At that moment my dad had just admitted to not knowing how to be a father. That was huge!
Everything finally made sense, my dad wasn’t a beast, he was a protector. The streets of Los Angeles was scary and dangerous and he was our peace. There were moments I would’ve taken to lecture my boys that my pops took to whip our butts. The main difference is I’ve had 32 years to watch my pops be my pops and to learn from him. No only is he still here with me on this earth but he’s still schooling young punks like myself!
Ladies, a lot of the men you all are choosing to have children with need time to learn how to be fathers. Give them a break and understanding too, you’re son needs a father to learn from. As men we are on a constant, continuous journey to becoming the man we want to be in life. The problem with that journey is that the concept of being a man changes for us. As women we don’t expect you accept our mistakes but instead understand our effort.
Shout out to the dads without a blueprint to fatherhood but still building. Keep growing through everything you’re growing through.
Here is the trailer to one of my favorite movies this year, “Creed II”. This is a prime example of a man trying to find his way without the guidance from his father. Check it out ladies.