Darrick Herndon; Three Reasons Why I Love Being a Father… : ThyBlackMan

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Darrick Herndon; Three Reasons Why I Love Being a Father…

August 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Fatherhood, News, Opinion, Relationships, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) Today’s Black man is more likely to be a single-Father than any other man in America.  As a divorcee, I found myself the single-Father of a daughter whom is the light of my life.

Reason #1:  Unconditional love

The love that I receive from my daughter is pure.  I can recall once not too long ago when my daughter was three and I surprised her with a small toy that she had been eyeballing at Barnes & Noble for a few weeks.  She   immediately perked up and hugged me at my legs before I could even bend over to meet her.  My child was happy about her toy, but her immediate reaction was not to take the toy from my hands.  Her immediate reaction was to hug her Father.  Her love for me came first, unconditionally.  That’s the kind of love that money can’t buy.  The unconditional love of a child is priceless and is the purest expression of love that I know.  One can almost feel selfish about enjoying it so.

Reason #2:  Building her world

As I mentioned in Reason #1, my child is no stranger to Barnes & Noble.  She is also not a stranger to the local public library as she has been going with me nearly every other weekend since she was two years old.  My daughter is now four years old and she has a clear expectation that she is going to go to either the library or bookstore with Daddy and she ensures that I do not forget one nor the other.  These choices in where to spend our Daddy/Daughter time was not accidental for I am building a scholar.  I am acclimating my daughter to books and literature before she can even read and she has developed a love for books.  She will always feel comfortable in a library or a bookstore and she will benefit from my modeling of reading in front of her while she plays with Thomas the Train or peruses the newest Disney Princess masterpiece.  I expect her to catch fire as soon as she learns to read for she has a hardwired love of books at age four.

My daughter and I go to a wide variety cultural events.  I make sure that she is exposed to everything from our local Juneteenth celebration, to the exurban ballets and plays.  I ensure that she goes to places where she is the only or one of few African-American children because success in our world often means being the only one in a crowd and I am preparing her to compete with all of the world’s children.  I also take her to events with predominantly African-American children to promote her sense of racial inclusion and pride.  I enthusiastically promote physical fitness & good nutrition, and safety consciousness to her and she usually tends to promote those concepts back to me so that we both benefit.  I recognize that I am literally building her world through my consistent promotion of activities and ideals.

Reason #3:  Being her protector

I am a single father who doesn’t get to spend as much time with my child as I would like to.  Still, I try to make the most of every opportunity.  I consistently call my daughter around the same time of night, every night where I feel like it or not, because it is important to me that she know that her father is here for her.  I don’t care if I only get 10 seconds of her time, it is critical to me that she knows that I am available and present.  I don’t feel the need to delve into the details of the nightmare of every single-father of a small daughter, but I do want to share that I feel like daily involvement in your child’s life can be a deterrent to would-be abusers. 

Most women who were abused as children were abused by step-Fathers or other close male relatives and I believe that a strong relationship between a single Father and his daughter can give would-be abusers pause as the likelihood of the child telling on the abuser increases.  My daughter understands what her Father’s touch and love is supposed to feel like and she would understand any violation of that too as we routinely discuss inappropriate touching.

A highly successful friend of mine once shared with me the story of how her Father took her on a “date” at age 10.  He practiced perfect chivalry as he opened the car door for her and took her out to dinner.  Her Father told her that he took her out on this date so that she would understand how a man is supposed to treat her.  Male role modeling is critical to daughters.  I want my daughter to understand that a man’s love doesn’t always come with sex.  I want her to understand that a man can look her in the eyes and love her with good intentions and to be able to recognize that kind of love.  I want her to understand how a man is to respect her and to expect nothing less.  As a single-father, I value nothing more than my one-on-one time with my daughter.  Now is my time to show her what a good man is; which in doing so, protects her from wanting a bad one.

I see my role as her Father to be my ultimate role in life and it is the role that I cherish the most.  Even though it gets tough, I love being her Father.

Staff Writer; Darrick Herndon

For more thought provoking articles by this writer visit; blackfrankluntz.


Comments

8 Responses to “Darrick Herndon; Three Reasons Why I Love Being a Father…”
  1. Pierre Ola says:

    Thank you my brother for reminding me of the journey I have endured with my beautiful daughter. She is now 18 and just started her first full-time job last Monday all while studying.

    On Thursday morning, she sent a text message letting me know of a major deal she closed and her boss recognized her achhievement in front of her colleagues. It was a significant milestone and I let her know how proud I was to hear she was happy.

    However, before leaving that morning we had had an argument; her being a teenager while I tried to get my point across in a calm soft-spoken manner (a learned attribute from my mother). I was fair but firm and took my stance. She stormed off to her room, grabbed her purse, etc. but before she walked out the door I called out from the kitchen, ‘huny, give me a hug!’ I peered out to see her sad by the door and no matter how reluctant, she came to me and we embraced.

    Her reaction to my call was not out of fear of what may happen to her if she didn’t but a behavior that I am proud to say was instilled in her. As an acacemic I somewhat integrated my study approach into my relationship with her i.e. plan, analyze, design, implement and maintain. I raised her on my own since she was 4 and it wasn’t easy, it still isn’t. But when I recieved that text message from her I was swift to reply that no matter how grim a situation may be, God will see us through.

    Well, it’s Father’s Day here in New Zealand and I still haven’t heard from her yet. I could only smile while reading this article because my daughter is not only a teen but a young woman…a woman with prerogative.

  2. KoolBro says:

    Spoken like a proud father. I can only hope many brothers follow your lead.

  3. John Chatman says:

    Darrick,
    What a wonderful lesson in the joys of being a father you have posted my friend. Being a new father to a beautiful baby girl I have gained new insight and for that I am very grateful.

    May the Lord bless you,
    John

  4. Danielle Spence Chase says:

    You are an incredible father Darrick. I’m so proud of you as a father and as a black man. This article express what so many need to hear. First that there are wonderful and loving black men out there. Secondly, it expresses so many points that need to be driven home in today’s culture. My sons are drilled on how to behave, exposed to cultures of all kinds and have been shown how it is they are to treat a lady. Too often we are stuck waiting as they continue to hold doors for other ladies entering or exiting a building. How sad it is when parents neglect to treat their children common decency and respect! The result it ignorance and moral decay. Continue to to the wonderful job you are doing. May you and your family be richly blessed! This article is a blessing to all of those who read it!

  5. Eleanie says:

    I loved this article. Black men with their children is such a beautiful sight to see.

  6. Dr. Harris,

    Thank you. Your daughter is an amazing woman and your influence is apparent. She speaks so highly of you.

    Darrick Herndon

  7. Rev. Dr. Michael Harris says:

    Thank you for this great article. Being a father is a joy and raising a daughter is very special. I remember that day like it was yesterday.

    Kimmey had turned 10yrs old and had the choice to go to any restaurant she wanted, she choose Dairy Queen, but instead I took her to a really nice restaurant near the Savannah river.

    I wanted her first date to be with me, so that she would be able to measure all the others by the bar that I set and FELLAS its pretty high.

    Love your daughters and remember the greatest lessons that they will ever experience are those that they are taught through your actions!

    Grace & Peace,
    Dr. Michael Harris

  8. Dell Gines says:

    Awesome article bro, I am going to repost on facebook.

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