A Different Look

As a child who never had a father present in his life, Father’s Day was a day to give thanks to the father figures in my life. However my outlook on fatherhood changed on August 7th 2008 when my son, David L. Lankster, Jr. was born.Growing up in a single parent household, I did not understand the job or the duties of a father. Due to the absence of my biological father, I looked up to all nine of my uncles for masculine guidance and advice about topics I did not feel comfortable conversing with my mother about.

I always envisioned what a father SHOULD do, and at such a young age I really was clueless about the responsibilities one with such a title faces. However, everything came full circle soon enough.

Standing in the delivery room watching the delivery of my son was the most nauseating, yet ecstatic feeling I have ever felt. Not only because of the gore of childbirth, but because I realized that is this was an opportunity to do something for my son that my father had never done for me, BE A FATHER.

From the moment of my child’s’ birth, I had my mind made up to be selfless and altruistic because my father was just the opposite. Sadly in today’s society single mothers are raising too many children and grandmothers who feel obliged to step in and help the mother.

While there is nothing wrong with being raised solely by maternal figures, it should not be this way. A mother should not have to ask her child’s father to provide for a child produced by the both of them.

There are experiences and life lessons that a father can share with his child that his mother would be ignorant to. Men should not let “baby mama drama” come in between the bond a father shares with this child because this only cause’s confusion that the child does not need to be exposed to.

If a father does not have the financial means he shouldn’t run away from his responsibility. Time spent with a child goes further than anything money can buy. Some of my most cherished moments with my son came at the most unlikely and random times.

If your father is not present in your life, do not hold grudges. There might have been situations you did not know about that caused him to be absent. I am sure he wanted to be present just as much as you did. Just pray for him.

If you have a father that is present in your life, cherish him, and hold him to high esteem because you are in the minority. Let him know that even though he may feel as if his doing is unappreciated, it is noticed and respected.

You don’t have to be a biological father to be a father to be a father figure. I believe if there were truer, compassionate, dedicated fathers, the world would be better place.

David Lankster is a junior mass communication major from Compton, Calif.