At 11:58pm on June 3rd, my life was changed forever. My son was born. As a man, I can't imagine not being part of his life, no matter the cost.
Witnessing my son grow in his mother's belly from a peanut in a tiny black and white ultrasound, to an actual baby with fingers and feet curled up and kicking away, I cannot understand how any man wouldn't want to be part of the upbringing of their own seed. I did everything I could to prepare for his arrival. I didn't miss one doctor's appointment. I guess for me growing up without a father makes it that much more important that I be a great one.
When I was first born, my grandma gave my mom a piece of advice. She told my mom to let me believe my father was dead. That way, his absence would have a sad but understandable explanation, and I wouldn't be another kid growing up wondering why my dad wasn't there.
My mom decided against lying to me. I first met my father when I was in the first grade. I remember the white, latex glove-smelling hospital, and the two nurses who had to physically restrain me to get my blood drawn for an official DNA test. And I remember leaving him at the airport on his last day, where his final words to my mom were about how I lacked discipline and he should be the one to enforce it. Then he walked off into the distant land from which he came, and I knew nothing about. Since then, I can count on one hand the times I have seen my father.
For some, it might be hard to grasp where my desire to be a great father comes from, but I think it's simple. Parents want better for their children.