Let me start by saying God has a funny way of placing your anointing in front of you to remind you of the work still before you. I was in the beauty salon tonight waiting for my daughter to get her hair done. Second, let me say that by no means is it the first time I’ve sat and waited on a women to finish something I had no interest in; getting hair done, shopping, talking on the phone. A good man will do it, but besides that, It’s my deposit for hoping for her to wait, while I do something she’s not interested in; walking aimlessly through Best Buy or Home Depot; watching the game or talking about sports or video games; or on occasion my work; etc. etc. etc.
I’m always intrigued by the conversation that takes place when a bunch of women are talking and as luck or fortune would have it, I was the only man in the salon. At times they were conscience of my presence and at times they could care less that I was there. I am also a people watcher. Not in the weird perverted sense, but as someone who is fascinated by human interaction and find sport in imagining the life stories of the people I see. So, being in a salon with women and children; absent men to add a masculine presence; it was particularly interesting to see the various methods of discipline. Everything from yelling and screaming to the drag-off to the bathroom for the preverbal tighten-up!
As a Dad, I couldn’t help to realized and reflect for a moment that my 10-year-old daughter was experiencing something that will be a life long ritual of going to the salon to get her hair done (did). Along with several other observations, I could also sense that fathers in the lives of those children and good men in the lives of those women was a distant reality. It became overwhelmingly real for me when the little girl of a mom, who spent the vast majority of her time yelling at this child, sat next to me and asked, “Are You My Daddy.” Stunned and overtaken; It took everything I had in me not to cry; because I could already see the missing image of her father in her eyes. At 3-4 years old, she was already trying to fill it. Here I was; Mr. Responsible Fatherhood and I had NO answer for her and tragically enough neither did her mom.
As I stated before, what a way for God to remind me how critical my work has become. Statistically I know, antidotally I know, clinically I know, but this child forced and reminded me to know on a whole different Godly level. In essence she was saying to me, “I don’t know who my daddy is, so what are you going to do about it?” And as she went back off to play with the other kids, she left me perplexed and dazed. So much so, I had to stop the work I was doing and as I watched her mother arise from the dryer; visuals told me a story that gave me little hope that this little girl will ever know who her daddy is.
To be honest, I am at a lost for words. Nothing gives me solace tonight that she will ever fill the hole in her soul of a father who has left this beautiful Black child wondering and searching for a man that will probably never exist for her. Yet she will spend the rest of her life looking, hoping and possibly praying that the next man she ask, will respond by saying, “YES!”
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