My primary responsibility as a father is to plant and nurture seeds.
When I look at my own children, this is what I aspire to do everyday. Before we were married, my wife and I talked about the kind of family we wanted to raise, how we would nurture our children, the futures we saw for them and the options we wanted to place in their lives. Since becoming a parent, I’ve realized that many times your plans have to adjust to the needs of your child in helping them discover their purpose and passions. I’m not agnostic about what kinds of adult leaders I want my children to grow up to be (I think that would be tantamount to parental malpractice), however I’m open enough to ensure they have choices and varied experiences to make good decisions with their lives. That’s why we never stop planting seeds, and nurturing them along the way.
Thank God I have an equal partner in my wife who helps plant and nurture these seeds alongside me. We each bring something important to the table when it comes to parenting. I’d be lying if I said that I don’t take particular satisfaction in being a father to our two young girls. I’ve seen the damage firsthand that comes with young black girls growing up without a father and I take honor in playing this role in their lives.
Finally, I believe fatherhood is a privilege. Sure, it comes with a ton of responsibility, a healthy helping of it’s own grief to bear from time to time, but if you do the job right…down the line you get a posterity that makes you proud of the work you’ve accomplished. That’s what I’m looking foward to. The blossoming of our youth, from the seeds we’ve planted.
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there working hard to plant and nurture the seeds of their kids, no matter what stage of life they’re in.