A Brand New Dad

at 12:35 AM

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.

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If a parent wasn't able to attend or graduate from college, they work hard so their children will one day have that chance.

In some weird way this is like my chance to prove that regardless of my situation growing up, it won't pre-destine my next generation. I didn't learn from example, but hopefully my son can.

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With a Perspective, I'm Orlando Campbell.

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