By Parlee Jones
What makes a father great? What makes a Dad rock? And before I go on … let me just shout out all the uncles, grandfathers, cousins, and all the men that choose to take on the position of “Father” in the lives of children regardless of who created them!!!
WJ Jones was my experience with fatherhood. He was funny, my sister says she loves his “mischievous sense of humor.” He was always getting us in trouble with my mom. He was a provider. He was kind. He loved music. Some of my fondest memories revolve around music and shirley temples!!! He would take me and my friends to concerts in Providence. Slave, Kool and the Gang, and many more. He loved him some blues!! BB King, Bobby Blue Bland, ZZ Hill. Records, 8 Track, Cassettes and CD’s. I miss him much.
My children’s father, Born Everlasting, gave me the best gifts ever! He was the brother that introduced me to Knowledge of Self, and for that, I will be forever grateful.
My Sun, Born EverlastingSun, has a while to go until he becomes a father. Him and his girlfriend have BIG DREAMS and I hope that they wait until they achieve their own dreams. But … I hope that he will remember some of the following thoughts …
I asked my friends what they thought were the best attributes of a Father. Here are their thoughts …
Being present in the home – mentally, physically, emotionally. Radically accepting. Spending quality time together, supporting family goals, learning from each other. He is patient and slow to anger. A problem solver. Love!
Protector. Love and Respecting mom. Nurturing. Being present and accountable. Being engaged. Being secure with himself. Being patient with your child. Giving time. Listening and inviting any and all questions your child may have. Sacrifice!
“Things that come to mind are to realize that men can learn good and bad lessons from their Dad and any man that’s been involved in our lives. Being aware that there’s no book that provides instructions on how to be a Dad, so this means that at times I’ll get it right and sometimes I’ll get it wrong, but there are lessons to be learned. Being present is VERY important and that means a lot to children; they want to know that Dad can be counted on.” – Dee Wells
“To show and tell your children you love them, and spending quality time with them, preparing them for a world that is not about black and brown men. Being able to show emotions and saying I am sorry when need to.” – Brenda Jenkins
“Being patient with your child, listening to and talking with your child, admitting your mistakes, being there when times are at their best and/or worst.” – Sherman Whitman
“Encourage them to be respectful, not be shy but still be a strong voice in the community.” – Amane AbdelJaber
“My dad was really funny and let me do stuff my mom didn’t and that was great! Like swim in the deep end and ride my bike too fast and climb trees to the high Branch!” – Rebecca Samara Martin
“Showing love and respect to his children and children’s mother…which helps build self esteem and standards for how the children will allow people to treat them as they grow up.” – Jennifer Maddox
“I agree with respecting the Mom. I will say that my relationship with my dad was completely independent of that with my mom. My dad respected my mom. He would never speak ill of her but he raised me to be the woman I am. So I can’t say that I even considered my mother in the relationship that I had with my dad. Thankfully I had other women in my life that taught me women things. But the whole of who I am is because of my dad. I’m so thankful and blessed that he was the man that he was. So essentially I’m saying a man has to be a man before he can truly act in the role as a father.” – Jennifer Gaskin