I cannot match the Mamba like athletic moves Kobe Bryant displayed in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform for 20 years.
But I can be a good girl dad or a good boy dad.
Hash tag girl dad radiates across the internet two weeks after the tragic helicopter crash that claimed the lives of Bryant, his daughter Gigi and seven other passengers just north of Los Angeles.
Bryant was headed to his daughter’s travel basketball game. How many of us have piled into a car with our child heading to baseball practice, a big soccer match or basketball game? It is one of the most enjoyable parts of being a parent.
We are watching the growth of our child in the field of competition. However, there are other important aspects of being a girl dad or a boy dad.
My son Brandon is an 18 year old senior at West Bloomfield High School. He is why I am a boy dad. He no longer plays soccer, but our times attending an NCAA tournament basketball game or having lunch at Pei Wei are just as important.
We don’t talk as much over lunch as I’d like. He is quiet around me. But we talk and we laugh and enjoy each other’s company. Being a boy dad does not mean that every minute together entails epic moments. The most important thing is being in his life.
We live in a society where too many men father children and then disappear as a father. I never wanted to be that guy or no show dad.
Being a boy dad is different than being a girl dad. The girl and I embrace more frequently and for longer periods of time. Brandon and I are challenged by this macho barrier that hampers outward displays of affection.
But the love is still there.
I knew of a dad who kissed his children on the lips — both sons and daughters — before sending them off to school. It is something I am not comfortable doing.
We do other things. Currently, we are going over shaving so the boy does not look like a werewolf on his way to school.
I taught him to drive. I am also his writing coach and we spend time together in the basement trying to piece together the written word.
Two weeks ago Brandon got this puzzled look on his face.
“Did Kobe Bryant die in a helicopter crash,?” he asked.
I told him I had not heard that. I hoped it was not true.
TMZ was the first to report it. Although I knew the celebrity web sight has accumulated good sources around the world I refused to believe the news. For the next few days we talked about Kobe. Brandon wanted to know if I met Bryant, had I interviewed him and what I thought of him as a basketball player.
These were great boy dad moments.
Nothing special. We were not talking on top of the Empire State building or walking the Pacific shore as waves crashed behind us. We spoke in his bedroom, the kitchen and in the car.
These were simply good boy dad moments.Find Terry Foster Podcast here: