Now that I have a good, ahem, 17 years of “Mommy-Hood” under my belt I must admit that this parenting thing ain’t a job for punks. It definitely takes two, or three or four to get the job done! In honor of Father’s Day I tip my hat and officially bow down to the power and presence of men/fathers, biological and otherwise, who raise children! Their love, their swag, their power and their spirit plays a tremendous role in propelling our children forward to greatness.
Let’s kick this off with the guy who knocked me up! The strength, guidance, protection, provision, love and healthy dose of fear/discipline that I’ve watched “The Hubby” pour into our child, “The Boy,” is priceless. He practically turned cartwheels when I told him I was pregnant and immediately assumed his “Mufasa” demeanor. When “Simba” I mean “The Boy” was born it was on and crackin’! From literally coaching “The Boy” out of my womb, to giving him his first bath, to becoming a master at swaddling I have watched and admired the way “The Hubby” continues to pour his heart and soul into being his version of the ultimate Dad. I’m sure he was secretly thrilled when just a few weeks after birthing “The Boy,” my mammary glands failed me miserably –which then gave him more opportunities to bottle feed “The Boy.”
It still amazes me to watch them grow together as he guides“The Boy” through the sometimes agonizing obstacle course leading to manhood. Be it laughter or tears I am happy back knowing that my son’s “memory chest” continues to overflow with a wealth of father and son moments and lessons that “The Boy” will one day (which is very far away mind you) pass on to his own children. I realize that while I love my son with all my heart I can’t ever be his father or truly teach him to be a man. Watching “The Boy” absorb his father’s goodness continues to be a blessing of epic proportions even though being the only chick in the bunch, at times, drives me batty!
Speaking of absorbing goodness, “The Hubby” couldn’t have had a better example than his father Mr. “D.” The moment I met Marvin Denton I absolutely knew I’d hit the husband jackpot when I fell for his son. Mr. D’s love for his family especially his children and grandchildren knows no bounds. A heroic Vietnam veteran, and a hard working business owner, Mr. D has taught his children, by example, to trust God, to work hard for what they want, to be leaders and to always strive to give folks a fair shot in every situation. The Hubby says Mr. D is the BEST man in his life and I am sooooo grateful that my Man is cut from the same cloth! Whaat!
And finally but certainly not least, my dad, the one and only Kenneth Lorenzo Hamblin Sr. WOW! In my humble opinion he is and will always be a relentless force of nature.
It seems my Dad, a poor boy from Brooklyn who had the nerve to dream big, has spent his life blazing trails including teaching himself photography and later becoming the first Black photographer at the Detroit Free Press who went on to capture his share of national award winning photos. It seems he has spent his life shattering stereotypes including becoming a nationally acclaimed conservative radio talk show host, a columnist, an author, a pilot, a scuba diver, etc. In short my Dad has always refused to watch life from the cheap seats choosing instead to get in the game and live with as much gusto as possible. He has always urged/demanded that my brother and I do the same. In his unique and incredibly opinionated way he has always encouraged us to live and experience the world. Being boxed in or confined by our thoughts or lack of action is just not acceptable to Ken.
Now, even though my Dad dubbed me his “Princess” at birth our relationship has hardly been a fairy tale. At times it’s been more like bombs over Baghdad. We’ve stepped on land mines, lobbed grenades and taken shrapnel. But I’m thankful that God is a medic who heals all wounds. In time my Dad & I have found our own measure of peace with one another. He says I’m the female version of him and after years of refusing to believe that such a thing could remotely be possible, I now not only accept but embrace this very simple truth. I’m Ken’s daughter, for better or worse, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Happy Father’s Day to some of the amazing men in my life! Your love, strength and character keep making this Chick better and better! Right on!
(Check out an incredible moment in Ken’s career. It’s a story
“The Hubby” & I produced: