First, Happy Father’s Day to all my CSDs out there!
You know, it seems just like yesterday. The years I spent as a single-dad when my son was between 10-15 years old were the worst compared to the other 13 years. During this time period, I was struggling financially and trying to finish school to earn my degree, with the hope of coming up in this land of milk-n-honey. I was also trying to provide for my other children that were being born with my wife and also going to work at various places meant days that never ended and stress that felt like I was carrying a weight 24/7.
My poor sociology teacher had to read all about my struggles, as I poured my heart out in essay after essay. My son was at an age where he could choose (he was not given that “right” by me, but by his mom and the court) whether he wanted to come over to my home or not, and oftentimes for various reasons, he would not. Perhaps the ultimate knife in my chest was when he told the referee that he did not want to come to my home, as there were too many rules, he did not have fun and all we did was go over his grandparent’s house. My heart stopped beating that day in the court room, as I was fighting to maintain the visitation rights that I fought for when he was just a baby. I thought, “And this is how I get paid back?” “I’m being treated worse than Cain who said, ‘It ain’t mine’ and bounced. For those who have seen Menace To Society, they know what I’m talking about.
But it was all of those experiences that moved me to create this blog years later.
The essay below was one that I wrote in 2001 for my Social Science Theory class. My superb professor had us all develop a theory by the end of the semester, as she knew that social and psychological theories that change the world are not only born when you have a Ph.D.. So it is in the environment above that I have described, that my Alliance Theory was born. When I performed my research for the paper (yes, done without the internet and we had just got a computer for me to type this on), I learned that my theory had basically been previously presented and was known as Parental Alienation Syndrome.
I’ve never shared this publicly, and I’m posting pictures of the essay until I can type a more recent edition. Therefore, you get to see all of my grammar mistakes, the faded paper, etc.. But I wanted to share this on Father’s Day to once again encourage those of you struggling as well. You may not get to see your son or daughter today, as they may choose (or the mother may choose for them) to spend it with a new guy, with mommy or a step-father instead.
I know it hurts. It hurts to watch you and your child’s relationship melt and you seem to be the only one that cares. You know your child has no idea the impact that this is going to have in his or her life. But you hang in there. Never give up and cry to yourself if necessary. Emotions usually spring forth in the only way society allows men to grieve, and that’s through anger and violence. But you probably know that when you lose control in those arguments, you lose. She can just pick up her “toys” if you will, and go home. You look like the bad-guy, and to your child, you are that bad guy. Why? Read the essay below.
Make today a special day for yourself. It’s special because you are still there, whether your son or daughter understands right now or not.
Now this was written 14 years ago, but what do you think? How has your life experience been and does this theory fit your situation? Let me know in the comments below or email me.
So again, if that phone doesn’t ring or no one comes to visit, you at least get a heart felt Happy Father’s Day from CSD my man, and may God bless you.
Dad’s, with all of the cheating that is going on in sports these days, how do you talk to your kids about this issue?
It’s hardly new. “Back in my day”, I wanted to throw a knuckler like Phil and Joe Niekro and a spitball like Gaylord Perry. Those were fun guys and Joe and Gaylord were cheaters, but hey, it was funny right? Did George Brett really mean to run Pine Tar that far up on the bat?
Come on! Lighten up!
Now this was before we really got serious on baseball cheaters like McGwire, Sosa, Bond (allegedly), A-Rod and the list goes on and on in that sport. But then there’s “Stickum” in football, anabolic steroids, growth hormone in almost every Olympic sport, blood doping in cycling, academic cheating from junior high through college for basketball and football players, car modification cheating in racing…maybe it is true, if you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying!
So we really shouldn’t be tripping out about Tom Brady.
But this article in The Root breaks down that we do view and talk about cheaters differently, I highly recommend giving it a read.
Here are some of the highlights:
“If he were black, people would be calling him a criminal and saying that his behavior reflected some innate values. They would blame hip-hop, single mothers and the culture of poverty. If he were a black player, the conversation wouldn’t be about Goodell or the system but how the lack of a work ethic and morals led him to cut corners, to win “by any means necessary.” If he were black, the conversation would turn to affirmative action and how he was forced to cheat because he lacked the skills needed to excel at this elite level….Brady demonstrates yet again that whites are innocent … until proved innocent. Any evidence to the contrary proves that the system is flawed, that we have a miscarriage of justice.”
Dad’s when you’re having this discussion with your kids, do you unknowingly talk differently based on the color of the athlete?
It’s something to think about and it’s how we teach our children about so-called race, without ever talking about race in our homes. Then we proudly exclaim to the world, “I teach my kids that skin color doesn’t matter, everybody should be treated the same!”
So do you treat everyone the same in your actions and judgements on who’s a cheater and who isn’t? Perhaps this is a good discussion to have with ourselves first, and then our children as well.
If God allows you and I to live long enough, we’ll see another “race riot” in two months or two decades. History has shown that “race riots” in the USA are just as predictable as the weather.
The response of the Christian community is, well, as I said on social media to my wife:
“Forgive me as I don’t want to jack your post. But it jumped out at me that this article was written on a site who’s worldview is much different from ours. However, as it was during Ferguson, the vast majority of Christian sites/commentators are once again silent. I can’t help but reflect once again on the Good Samaritan parable, MLK’s comments about the silence of The Church during his protests/persecution, and 1 John 4. It confirms yet again, if I were on the side of the road unjustly beaten, in jail for protesting (not because my hockey team won a game) or just feeling troubled and saddened by the actions of my nation, comfort would be far more likely to come from those who need the gospel themselves, not by those who claim to share my belief in the gospel and its power. That in and of itself may be more shameful than what’s going on in the nation today…for at least I know where “they” stand, but I’m forced to ask on Sunday (e.g. within the Christian community), “who is my brother?” – 4:19, “We love, because He first loved us. 20If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.”
Yes, sometimes as a so-called “Black Christian”, you feel quite alone during these times in our lives. It was this same environment in the early ’90s, that resulted in a rise in the number of African-Americans turning to the Nation of Islam. So many just wanted someone spiritual to speak up about crack in our communities, police brutality in our neighborhoods that resulted in a video of a man named Rodney King being beaten worse than a dog, and later riots in the streets of L.A..
But the Nation of Islam need the gospel, they do not have an answer.
The message below from Thabiti Anyabwile resonates with you African-American Christian. The NOI, Bahia, and now Kemet may make our flesh feel justified, but it will not justify our souls. Only Jesus Christ can do that, and I thank God that even when things seems to be at their worse, He still has men out there saying, “The Bible DOES deal with race! God is not a white-devil used to enslave your minds!”
Check out the message from this brother. He broke IT DOWN (some of y’all know what I mean when I say that). I can truly say he’s my “favorite” dude right now and I’m so glad God is using him to teach me at this time in my life, when I’m even standing out wondering, “Lord, am I missing something? Can people not get rid of their ethnic identity to be one with my people group in the Church?”
The Justified Life with God is a Compassionate Life Toward Men – Thabiti Anyabwile
I’ve finally finished Meg Meeker’s book, Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters, and thought it was absolutely extraordinary.
There are so many great thoughts in the book, that I’d like to share a few of them periodically here.
Today’s thought: Realize Who You Are To Her
“When she is a baby, her eyes will search for your face. Her ears will listen for your voice and everything inside her will need to answer only one question, “Daddy, are you here?” If you are there, her body will grow better. Her IQ will start to rise, her development will track where it is supposed to, but more important, she will realize that life is good because you love her. You are her introduction to love; you are love itself.”
It’s been quite a few years since my little girls were in the baby stage. But I still remember those days. There was something about seeing them and knowing that one my roles would be as the protector of her heart, mind and body. The ground that I lay in her life in regards to love will determine how love is perceived and grows in all the other areas of her life.
Dad’s this is definitely one of those areas where both of you will reap what you sow.
So what kind of ground will you sow today? What kind of “soil of love” (I know that sounds cheesy, but it fit) are you creating in her life?
I remember I missed class because of the birth of my first daughter. Dr. Lyn Lewis, my professor at the time, told me that I would have a larger impact on the life of my daughter than my wife would. Over eleven years later, I realize how truly right she was and I’m still trying to make sure that impact is far more positive, than negative.
How about you?
If you have an adult daughter, how did you do and do you have any advice for the rest of us CSDs? Let us know in the comments below!
A couple of weeks ago, our church started a group of meetings called the Life Action Summit. Quite honestly, my percentage level to attend was under 50%, as those “revival” type meetings are usually full of bad theology, financial begging, and as my boy Rob would say, “Momma-say-momma-sa-mumombusa”…in other words…speaking in tongues with no sign of an interpretation coming from anywhere.
All I can say is: OUCH.
I went for 11 days and:
Many of the lessons that I heard exhorted me to return to my first love, Jesus Christ.
Many of the lessons that I heard exhorted me to return to the love and commitment I have for my wife.
But many of the other lessons the I heard exhorted me to return to being the father that I am supposed to be as well.
Now why am I writing this to you?
Even if you are not a Christian, I think what I’m about to say applies to you.
Do you need to return to the love you had for your children when they were born?
Like a wedding, I’ve found that parents have showers, celebrate, cry, tell everyone and are just so excited about becoming parents when the woman announces she’s pregnant and delivers the baby. However, after a few years, just like marriage, that loves seems to change.
From 0-5, they are cute and we are patient, as they discover this world and still have a smile that melts our hearts.
From 6-10, they’re not as cute and that smile now gets accompanied with a frown when they don’t have their way, and our patience lessens.
From 11-15, we often go through the motions as they become their own person that we like/dislike and our lives are full of school events, sports, and “stuff”.
From 16-18, we are just trying to endure to the end. We back off as to not “push them away”, as they scream silently, “Mom, Dad, would you please give me some direction and guidance?” Then high school graduation comes and as they walk across the stage we say, “Where did all the years go? There’s so much more I wish I could teach them…”.
Quite honestly, some parents say, “Get out! You’re 18 now!”
What happened to all the promises we told ourselves? Promises how we’d protect them, provide a stable household for them, tell them that they can always come to us, kisses and “I love you-goo-goo-ga-ga” accompanies with goofy faces.
Tonight, I’d like for you to reflect on whether you are truly still thankful for your children.
Next, ask yourself (and if you are really daring, your wife), if someone you didn’t know were to ask your kids, “Does your dad ACT AND SAY that he loves you?” What would the answer be to that person? What would your kids say?
So your CSD-homework assignment for this week? Tell your child/children that you love them. That’s it. I bet you acted like you did they were born, but what about now?
Let me know how it goes…
If you ever have an opportunity to go to a Life Action Summit, I cannot recommend it enough. It has certainly made a difference in my life and I’m not typing anything to you that I have not had to struggle with myself, as I’m far from the perfect dad. But over the last couple of weeks, I had the opportunity to sit with all five of my children and renew that love that I had for each one of them when they were brought into my life.
Just starting with “I Love You”, can be a way for you to begin that same journey as well.
I’ve had it. I’m done. I’m tired of the comments.
I will come here to vent, but I may just vent on the people who feel the need to give me their opinion as well.
But if there are any homeschooling parents out there, feel free to chime in with your experiences as well.
I’m about to start a new section called: Revenge of the Homeschooling Dad.
Why are you asking about my kids socialization when all people complain about is how disrespectful children are these days, how self-centered they are, and how they aren’t learning anything in school…folks keep giving their unsolicited opinion to me, so I’m about to start giving mine….Oh yea, and they are so Biblically illiterate, that Jesus is nothing but a swear word to them, not their Savior.
Yea, it’s on now…if you want my skin to be thick enough for your opinions, I’m sure yours is thick enough to hear mine as well.
After all, I’m sure you went to school, so you know how to interact with various people and respect different views when my kids will not right?
Today I had the opportunity to shoot my son’s football games from the field. I haven’t shot from the sidelines since his high school playing days and I must admit that I enjoy shooting sports even more than cars. I must say, there’s something about catching the action and emotion of the players on the field.
Although the score didn’t come out is his favor, it’s good that everyone was able to walk off the field. That’s something players should never take for granted whether playing flag-football, high school, or semi-pro like my son.
Enjoy the shots!
I grew up in the D. when terms like crack, carjacking, and checking-in were being born.
At the same time, terms like Reaganomics, Star Wars defense, and pull-yourself-up by your bootstraps also thrived in this country’s vernacular.
But as bad as things were back then, some of the things going on today make shake my own head.
I’m I getting older or do you feel the same way?
Yesterday, Marvin Winans of the famous gospel group, The Winans was carjacked and robbed in the middle of a gorgeous afternoon in the ‘hood. For my readers not in this area or country, the streets don’t matter, but trust me, he was stopping in the ‘hood.(Story here: http://www.wxyz.com/dpp/news/region/detroit/pastor-marvin-winans-carjacked-and-robbed-in-detroit)
Now, I also grew up listening to The Winans as they were on my dad’s approved music list. My close friend’s father used to pick us up in the Ford panel wagon LTD and she’d have a Winans tape jamming every morning on the way to school. When my family heard the song Tomorrow before I did, I remember them telling me, “We know you’re going to love that song” and they were right. To this day it’s still one of my favorites.
So it bothered me to hear that Marvin Winans was now a victim, especially knowing that he has tried to make a difference in the city.
I’ve listened to some on the radio that criticized him for stopping at a station with a Rolex and a purple Infiniti SUV. But knowing that his QX56 only gets 16 mpg, I’m sure he’s stopped at gas stations in Detroit numerous times without incident.
But not this time.
Plus, is it now THAT bad? It wasn’t THAT bad in the ’80’s. Back then, we watched a Fiero get stripped right across the street in a few minutes in the middle of the afternoon. But I don’t remember it being THIS bad. I’m I wrong or do I have those “back-in-my-day rose-colored glasses on”?
Also, just the week before, this incident happened and lets just say my man certainly didn’t look like he was displaying a Rolex to fake Ludacris you see in the video. (Note: That old-head got with phony-Luda and it’s sad he had to get a bunch of his “boys” to help him buck with a guy twice his age…and the punks hit an older woman too…those fools are hard right there.)
But the gentleman in the video above did everything right. He didn’t look scared and even spoke to the dudes respectfully and didn’t even call them niggas, like I’m sure they call each other. What did he get in return, a beatdown that could’ve been much worse and thankfully it was not for him and his wife.
Are things just THAT bad?
If we say that they are, then what?
My prediction? At the current progression, two scenarios are likely to play out.
1.) Drastic measures will not be taken until someone of European-descent gets beatdown or killed as the national outrage will cause leaders to speak up and the negative attention will reach past the Michigan border.
Does anyone remember the fireworks brawl that got caught on tape in the early ’90’s (and remember, that was before Youtube)?
2.) Notice the event happened at another gas station. Fuses are getting real short on gas stations as they aren’t calling police on crimes taking place on their property and if you do something that effects them, they shoot you. Lack of police response and growing animosity against the police are all making for fumes that could ignite with one “minor” incident.
Does anyone remember 1967?
Back in the day, we knew who Marvin or at least The Winans were because we went to church.
Dad, when was the last time you did THAT with you kid(s)?
I’m not even talking about whether your church is good or not, but at least it puts the moral compass in the right direction.
An atheist sees me and my boys (friends) crewed-up with hoodies, Kangols and Adidas on at night. Why would he/she breath easier seeing us with Bibles in our hands as we walk from the Mission instead of the gas station up the street?
(We may look bad outside the Mission at night, but trust me, we’re harmless)
Why? Because they know that “religious fanatics” have a moral compass and they are glad about it, because if we didn’t and just believed that now is the only reality and there are no consequences for our behavior, then they may be stretched out on that sidewalk and not make it back home that night. In other words, I’m sure the atheist would be glad we hold the fanatical worldview and not their view in that situation.
Now Dad, do you know where your children are?
Whether living with you or not, are they hanging out in the street, doin-dirty?
If you don’t know, you better find out.
Cause while it may not be YOUR kid that’s going to rob or kill you (then again, it could be: http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/news/Son-of-Farmington-Hills-beating-victim-arrested-2-others-seriously-hurt/-/4714498/10918534/-/15dc71oz/-/index.html) because they’ve never been taught to have regard for human life and have determined that they will be the predator not prey, you may one day fall victim.
You may get stuck by a kid who was raised with a lack of supervision like your kid was raised.
So forget the old saying from parent to child, “I hope you have a kid that acts just like you one day!”
I now will say, “I hope you run into some kids (or they marry) some kid that has been raised just like you raised yours one day!”
Maybe that’s the only way to keep things from getting worse in the D. or any other place, cause I’m getting a headache from shaking my head.
What do you think and how are things in your neighborhood?
I was going to write something new for Mother’s Day but quite honestly, I think it’s a good time to revisit a post that I made at the beginning of the year. However this time, I want you to deeply consider whether your mom knows how you feel about her?
As men, many think we spend so much time trying to keep emotion inside. This is not entirely true. Our society only considers it okay to express emotion in certain situations such as sports, certain romantic situations or war. Athletes cry over a game that means nothing to the world, a man can cry at a wedding or tears of sorrow can be shed over a fallen comrade, but to cry at any other time is not considered very manly.
So today as you are remembering your mom, I ask that you read my A Living Eulogy for My Mother (click the title) post, and if you have never TOLD your mom how much you appreciate her, I beg that you do so.
As dad’s we are often under-appreciated. So you know how it feels, so please make sure your mom knows how much you appreciate her because no Hallmark card can express the way you feel.
Happy Mother’s Day to MY MOM!!!
I’ve taken numerous shots of Motown, so I really dig sites like this that show the historic value of many of the buildings and factories.
I stumbled upon this site (http://detroiturbex.com/content/industry/packard/index.html) that shows the old Packard plant and some other historic sites in “The D.”.
So pull the kids on the lap Dad, and take a walk through history!
I don’t feel old physically, well at least most of the time.
But every now and then I stumble across a video or song that makes me say, “Man, that song was out that long ago?”
Well, watching this video and hearing this song again definitely made me make that statement and it’s still one of my favorites to this day.
This was back before Busta Rhymes went all, well…Busta Rhymes on us and hip-hop was truly real. Can you imagine a rapper rhyming about how they don’t have a car these days? If anything, they rap more about the cars they don’t have, and have been doing so since the late ’90’s.
Do you remember this jam by the Leaders Of the New School? If so, what’s your favorite memory when this song was out and what were you driving?
I was bouncing my old ’79 Cutlass with a 305ci. out of a ’75 Nova that me and my friends dropped in. We thought we were the baddest around as my cousin and I popped a Holley dual-feed carb on top of a stock motor (insert laugh track there). The Delco radio in the Cutty was one of the best I’ve ever had, but the car itself had rust so bad, you could see the back wheel spinning if you pulled up the corner of the back seat! But believe it or not, the Cut-Dog lasted a few more owners as my dad took it off my hands and later one of my other boys would be the proud owner.
My oldest son and I had some good times cruising in that car, but it would get even better as The Stang would soon follow.
Now that’s my “Sobb Story”…what’s yours?