RAISING BOYS TO BECOME MEN
One of the most fortunate parts of life to me is the exposure to parenthood, Fatherhood to be exact. My name is Daddy and it’s as simple as that. My son, Ronald Omari Gooch, III, depending on the day wants to be called Ronald or Omari and here recently, like most people refer to me, “Gooch” (Calm down young man, not quite ready for that anointed calling).
See this is the everyday deal with this guy, a 6-year-old STUD that has little to no fear of anything besides the fury and desire to be like – you guessed it, Daddy. I’m grateful for every opportunity I hear “I Love You Daddy” or when I get the infamous question of “Are You Proud of Me Daddy?” – let me tell you this dude asks that question a lot. I’m definitely experiencing fatherhood in the most exciting way, but my biggest challenge has been the teaching part.
We always think we can’t wait until we have a child and then we do…
All of a sudden they stop needing diapers, stop needing formula and even stop wanting us to hold their hand. What are we left with?
Now the challenge becomes a bit more interesting; let’s talk about having manners, crying for no reason, “toughin’ up” and oh yeah what does every dad say to his boy “Stop crying like a little girl”. I literally took a step back and asked myself, “How can I engage, connect and relate to my son, who’s schedule is busier than mine most times?” Baseball three nights a week, after school activities once a week, and we’d be crazy to forget birthday parties that seem to happen every Saturday on top of baseball or basketball games! There’s a lot that comes along with “adulting”, however you’re never really ready to parent a 6-years-old who’s schedule somewhat mirrors your busy work day after working hours. That’s it though, our time spent traveling from destination to destination, the exhaustion, the “post-game” talks, “Were you proud of me Daddy” – yep that’s how I can connect with him! That’s it!
I was once told that, “One day he’s going to be a man, so begin teaching him how to be a man; Get on his level, but challenge him to level up to yours”. Fatherhood comes with an automatic love not just for self, but for life, for child, and for learning how to connect. It’s amazing what perspective will give you when you look through a different lens.
Love and perspective also includes a learning and teaching aspect - hold the door for women, say excuse me when you belch or pass gas. Actually, how about you hold that and excuse yourself from the table, and lastly brush your teeth and wash your face, no woman wants a crusty man! He doesn’t understand why this is important and I didn’t understand why he didn’t think it was until I looked through his lenses.
So you want to know how we connect now, huh? Easy, I’m the coach, he’s the player. During baseball and basketball, I’m Coach Gooch, in life it’s Daddy and Omari. Perspective is simply defined as the particular attitude or way of regarding something: a point of view. I ask that he figures out why dad works to get him Wheat Air Force Ones and in return I try to understand why raising your hand in class to answer questions that you know you have the correct answer too is so hard.
Life isn’t about being correct, it’s about patience. The Coach and The Player.
Daddy and Little “Gooch”.
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