When I was a boy growing up in Baltimore City, I often wondered what it would be like to be a father. I always felt, somehow, that I would be a good father, but I wasn’t sure how I would get there. For most of my childhood, I grew up in a single-family home with my mother. Our life during my childhood was good, but we often struggled as my mom worked really hard to make ends meet. I watched my mother work full-time while putting herself through college and taking care of me. As she continued to excel in her career, our quality of life became better.
I truly admired her for that, but I was still missing something.
My father was around while I was growing up, but not on a daily basis. In fact, there were some long spans of time when I didn’t see my dad. When I had the opportunity to spend time with him, he taught me things, but they were usually most useful to me on the streets. I mean, he taught me how to be tough and defend myself. Those kinds of things were very helpful to me, but I also needed to be around some other positive males that could collectively teach me what being a man, and ultimately a great father, was really all about. I needed and wanted to learn how to do that.