To My Son’s Father

Dear Lance,

I never grew up with a father. I’ve never known the love of a man unconditionally, a love of reciprocity, without limitations. I never understood what a dad is supposed to do. What is the purpose of this figure if my mom can do it all on her own, I mean she cooked and cleaned and fixed the TV and opened jars by herself, so what was the point of man? My mom is a lover but wounded from past pain and trauma, and she reinforced that I ain’t ever need a man or the drama. She told me “make sure you get your license so you never have to depend on a man to take you anywhere.” so I did. And I’m such a shaky driver and prefer when you drive anyway but I feel comforted knowing I can drive myself too. Well, at least afford the uber to get me to where I need to be. And that’s how you met me- someone afraid to let go of the wheel, even when I know you’d never let us crash. 

I never made room for masculine, fatherly love. I have male figures in my life who have stepped up and taken on fatherly roles but I still don’t know much about my own, except he sent letters with no return address so I guess if I wanted to, I couldn’t find him. I knew early not to go looking for what you’ve never known to exist anyway, so I wouldn’t have wasted my time even if I knew his address. Besides, I was looking for something else anyway. I was searching for a feeling, a replacement, an unconditional love, and wound up finding what I always knew to be my father: unavailable men who I could pour time and love in to with no return on my investment, just more stress and trauma, low self esteem, and always feeling empty. I was dating a series of men who left no return address for their love, so I could never truly find them, I just got their love whenever they felt like sending.

And when I met you, I was beginning to feel full on my own again. I was beginning to forgive myself for allowing myself to accept love and treatment that did not serve me. Truth is, over the years, I shifted the anger from my father and men I dated, on to myself. How could I claim to be this strong figure and still accept weak treatment? “I am weak, I am nothing, I am a hypocrite,” is how I felt. I had released some of that anger, but began to feel resentment. Resentment towards myself and shame for my past mistakes. So we fought and suddenly I’d unleash 25 years of pain plus 60 years of my momma’s pain, and her momma’s pain on to you. I was healing, and unaware of my affect on you. So when you came to love me, it felt too good to be true.

 “You look like a thot,” and that was our ongoing joke, but what’s funny is your IG bio said “don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” What’s even funnier is you read my blog and talked about books and things that excited you. You read lol. And I know that sounds basic but lots of men don’t read,  lots of people don’t read, but you chose to read my blog. You wanted to get to know me, and read me like a book. Either that or you run some smooth ass game. I respect it either way. 

So here we are, two children with generations of trauma and longing for home, both independent and used to calling our own shots. Both successful, ambitious, and working non stop. Both used to being let down and hurt. Both of us, always looking, searching, hurting and running from love, with love. Both of us dating the wrong people hoping they wouldn’t let us down, knowing deep down they would. So then we met and it was this dance “I think I found the real one,” but we were both hesitant to move past the two step. Who will hurt who first? Is it too good to be true? Why you always think you know it all? Perhaps because we both fought inner wars, and outer wars with battle scars on our hearts to prove it.

You took the time to understand my crazy, my anger and my personality, you even gave me your birth time with no questions asked, took all my personality tests, and let me analyze you. But when you did the same to me, I got uncomfortable. “You don’t know me.” But I met someone that studied me. I met my match who questioned my authority. I met someone who made me realize I need to think about myself more critically in relationships. I’ve always expected so much of others, but what if I was the one that needed work? What if, I have dated so many bad men that I picked up their toxicity and was putting it on you? What if I was so self critical that I overly criticized you too? What if, I’m the one who’s in the wrong, and who needs work? It has been and still is a tough pill to swallow, but I needed you to hold that mirror up to me. You are my 11:11. 

Lance, I hope our son is everything like his dad. I hope he carries himself and knows he is of royalty, like his dad. I hope he has his dad’s smile and his mom’s dimples. I hope he is thoughtful, kind, and perceptive like you too. I hope that is a lover and a fighter. I hope that he loves so much it shakes the earth beneath his feet. I hope he inherits your healing energy. You forgiveness. Your compassion and sympathy. I can’t wait to see you hold our son, and pass on divine masculine wisdom. I can’t wait to be parents, as I have finally understood the purpose of feminine and masculine energies especially when raising a child. I can’t wait for you to change diapers at 3 am, to hold our son’s hand, and to exemplify the meaning of being an honest man. I remember early on saying “we’re breaking the curse by having this baby” by coming together, and creating new life we would use this magic to undo all that’s been done, so our son starts fresh. So our son is free from our chains of pain. Free to just be himself. Free, but aware of his parents’ histories, but free enough to make his own informed decisions. Free to create his own vision. Free, like unconditional love. 

We are magical together. And together we have created a divine being born from love (and maybe a lil Hennesy lol). Thank you for loving me. Thank you for helping me see, me. Thank you for calling me out and holding me accountable. Thank you for being an amazing man who drives me in a “blizzard” for some bread. For, rubbing my feet, ordering food that I feen for, but won’t eat, for staying through my mood swings and demands. For dunkin’ doughnuts and reading Yelp and Google reviews to make ourselves laugh. Thank you for being a King and showing me how to rightfully own myself as a Queen. You are a love that words cannot explain; it must only be felt. Thank you for giving me this love I can’t explain, a love that takes my breath away, a love that inspires me to write, but when I do I get stuck because it’s deeper than what my brain can process or my heart can feel. With you, I must love you in the moment, without over thinking, over analyzing, over strategizing and I need that. Thank you for being my 11:11. Thank you for giving me our son. 

I am excited to continue to watch us grow and love ourselves so that we are our best selves for our child. How lucky is our son, that he will get to say, “LT is my daddy” with a smile. 

I love you. 

Afrika 

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