It is a few days after Father’s Day.
Today I have failed my son Brandon as a dad and I feel bad about it.
I took my son to the barber, because he wanted a different hair style. Yet, he stepped from the barbers chair with the same style he walked in with although it was a little neater. I should have been more assertive and told the barber what the boy wanted.
But I want the boy to fend for himself, to communicate what he wants in life on his own. That did not happen today and I stood by and watched it happen. The burden is on me. A dad needs to take charge.
The boy is 6-foot-3 and is 17 years old. He cannot play basketball or baseball. That’s on me also. I worked two jobs for most of my life and was never home for the prime time sports time between a son and his dad to learn how to hit through a baseball and not pop it up, how to do a drop step in basketball and how to block out.
I wasn’t even there many weekends. I was often out of town and sometimes exhausted on a Saturday morning or afternoon when I was in town. He instead played soccer, a sport that I never believed suited him well.
I always felt like I needed to chase the next big story or radio show. I put job ahead of family.
He should have been honing his skills in basketball or baseball.
I have not ignored the boy for 17 years. I am his writing coach and sometimes life coach. He has a big heart and treats people with respect. Brandon loves to work with those less fortunate and even coached developmentally challenged kids in soccer. He works hard in school and his goal is to attend Michigan State University. I wanted both of my children to have a better chance at making it in life than I did.
That part has been a success. He lives in a neighborhood where he is not chased by thugs trying to steal his money as I was. He does not have to mingle with drug dealers, numbers runners and just bad ass duded as I did.
He’s thought about college way before I did. Nobody went to college in my family when I was younger and I just thought that was the way life was for inner city kids. But good friends began to show me a path toward higher education and I graduated from Central Michigan University after four years.
My best gifts on Father’s Day were not the cards or lunch. It was the notes I received from my children Celine and Brandon. Celine said she learned work ethic and how to write because of me.
Brandon said I have taught him a lot about how life works and he appreciates the time we spend together.
The words meant a lot. They were appreciated by the old man.
I just feel like I must do more.