Dear Son,

March 12, 2017

Hello, big man. It’s me. Your dad. I’ve actually got a baby boy now. I’ve actually got you. They say God knows a life way before it’s born, so He definitely knows you. He knew you would come and planned me to be your father. Not a small feat to accomplish, you’re like a miniature version of me. All my personality, all my looks, all my behavioural tendencies. All inside you. You look like your mother, but I can also see me. You’ll have those attributes of your mother, too. You’re our son!

 

In my life, I’ve learnt from other people’s experiences, what other sons have gone through. My brother used to get beat all the time by my dad. Close friends have had close to no fatherhood, some were antagonized, some were traumatized, others were degraded, there are a lot of horror stories of Black African fathers. I’m a Black African and proudly so, but I will bend over backwards to ensure I don’t make growing up, my son, a horrible experience for you. When I was in my twenties, I thought I would be strict with my sons, to make them strong. Then I heard from others how the aloofness of their fathers made them psychological wrecks and still suffer because of it. Now in my thirties, I’m just gonna take a chance on love and raise you with a lot of freedom.

 

I’ll give you the freedom to choose. I will trust you from birth. I will tell you what every situation facing you entails, then step back and let you make your own decision. As long as you don’t kill yourself, or others or don’t commit any illegalities, you’re fine with me. Why? Because I want to teach you manhood from early on. You see, my son, the human society is fraught with many problems, injustices and hypocrisies and they hurt when you’re at the receiving end of it. I haven’t been through the world, I haven’t met all the people, but the societies I’ve been to, the groups of people I’ve met, overwhelmingly are evil. And how can I teach you to preserve yourself from evil, if not teaching you the defense against it from your childhood. As you can tell, I’m pretty strict, but that’s only because successful living has taught me to be disciplined about my survival and well-being. I don’t play when it comes to that but I will try my best not to be stern with you. Because you’re still my son and I love you and I know, deep inside, you’re still a kid who just wants to spend quality time with his father and be happy. If I can’t assure you of that, I’ve failed in being your father. But the story goes on so let’s continue.

 

Going to become a man, means you’ll have to lead. Every man, at some point in his life, is expected to lead. Whether it’s a big or small thing, doesn’t matter, but that time will come. Maybe when you become captain of your sports team, or president of the debate club, or DJ of some student festival – maybe even when you first move in with your girlfriend later on life. Don’t think too much about it, we males instinctively know how to lead. It’s in our genetic blueprint. Every male has it in him to lead when it’s needed most and when he is compelled to do so. The situation is often the motivating factor, but it’s in you nonetheless.

 

Be yourself. Be full of love and ooze it out of every pore in your body. Your parents are very loving people who themselves are in love with the concept of love. I’m not saying every day is paradise and harmony, but we definitely mean to give you the best and assure you the best – even when we make big mistakes and piss you off. We’re just human and trust me, parenting isn’t easy as you get older but if there is one thing we can assure you – it’s that we will never desert you. You could commit murder, maybe you walked in on your partner cheating on you and I would probably take the swings of the police for you. I’d probably cover you as best as I can and try to get you out the country at the same time. I’d probably do that. Yeah, my morals are almost bankrupt but when it comes to family, society doesn’t mean anything to me. My family always comes first before society. Always.

 

That being said, if you kill somebody, I’d probably whoop your ass still and then go to jail.

 

Your mother and I, we’re both creative. I like to draw and she, well, you know what she’s into. Yeah, she’s pretty sick with it, isn’t she? I say this, because I don’t think you won’t be creative either. Maybe art won’t be your thing but that great mind of yours, like the mind of your sister – you can creatively solve any challenge life gives you. It’s called intellectual creativity and that’s the foundation of great innovations of our time. You can create wonders with your mind, you can change people, change the way they think, you can influence events as they begin and be a leading factor in ensuring it becomes successful – all by just using your mental creativity – to solve problems. Ever since I realized I’ve been doing it, I’ve jumped head first into it and won’t ever stop ever. You, have all our knowledge, all our experience, all our guidance, to propel your even bigger intelligence and mindset to solve the problems that will face you and your generation tomorrow. And it won’t matter what socio-economic condition we’ll be in – you’ll be able to fly and we’ll dry run with you until you stop walking.

 

OK, so once again, I realize I’m revealing how much I want to teach you and put you in different programs and try my best to make you this powerhouse of a man who can lead, uplift and prosper. Let’s get off that tip now. You’re our boy. What you’ll be into, only God knows but we will see it, your mother and I. We’ll probably keep ourselves to ourselves because we’re introverts but you might be superbold in the making. Whatever you become like, we will nurture the right environment to make sure you always feel at home with us, no matter what happens. If you can’t be yourself with us, your mother & I have failed in parenting you.

 

As a male, you’ll have to become your sister’s bodyguard for life when you become a man. She’s a woman and women need to be protected in this world, that just the kind of society we live in. It doesn’t matter if she’s older than you: if a man messes with her, you bang him out swiftly and move on. Half the time, men don’t even mess with you when they see you can bang out. Now, I’m into working out but you, you don’t have to be into weights like me. You don’t need muscles to provide for yourself in life – unless you’re an actor, athlete or entertainer, in which case it helps. I will insist though, mildly, that you exercise enough to be able to carry at least your own body weight. You should be able to benchpress at least your own body weight. Why? Because at the end of the day, you’re still a man and men are expected to have a minimum level of physical strength. Not just to bang people out, but to be the handyman when needed. Yeah, we live in a metrosexual society where everything can be outsourced to another but when push comes to shove and you’re forced to survive on your own wits without anybody helping you for a forseeable time, you should be able to take care of and provide for yourself, physically.

 

Be kind, my son. There are many bad people in many places. Sometimes you even see how good people become bad. You must not let that derail you even though doing so in real life is challenging. I still believe you should believe in kindness. I predominantly take people for their word and believe they are good, that there’s good in human. I’m often, however, wrong and am led to realize many people are scum. But do I still believe in love and friendship with other people? Absolutely! It’s the way I’m wired, I think I was born to give people a chance. Sometimes I play the fool and let people believe I’m falling for their trick – remotely hoping they might still change and be some good. But that is a discussion for me and God. There are good people in this world. No, they are not many and many times you can count them on your 2 hands, but some people will be absolutely amazing to you. They will be absolute rockstars and will make you feel like such a cool great person, just because you’re chilling with them. They will show you the beauty of life and often introduce you to dope places outside your comfort zone. These people are, no joke, human angels and when you meet them, hold on to them with both arms and both legs!

 

What else can I say? If I can’t open up to you and be affectionate to you, my son, then I’m an incompetent father to you. If there’s one thing I don’t want to do, is be a poor father to you and I don’t mean it financially. I wanna know that me being your dad, at the end of the day you feel safe with me. Yo feel happy with me. You tell me anything without fear. You make your choices yourself but also with the knowing that if anything goes South, daddy will be there to sort you out still. And probably, the most important to me, I want us to both know that we can both be totally goofy with each other and proper play with each other, completely being in our zone that people won’t understand cuz they’re not us. Your mother and sister have the access pass but that’s it! X)

Like in The Pursuit of Happyness, where Will Smith and his son imagined themselves out of their homeless situation at the train station. (Major spoiler, I’m sorry!)

 

Your first walk will feel like our countries winning the World Cup. I say countries because your mum and I are both mixed. Your first day at school will be like me when I met your mother’s father, I’d be nervous and want to know if I’m fully prepared. When you get your first girlfriend, I’ll be super cool about it as long as you always play safe. And if it’s boys you’re into, your mother and I will be super supportive of you and will always give you closure and support. If that happens though, I’d probably make you learn a fighting skill or two so you can take people out if they do more than bully you.

 

You are our son. We probably love you as much as God did us humans when He sent Jesus to die for each one of us. OK, maybe no human can love that much – but your mother and I definitely love you enough to sleep 4 hours a night (at most) until you’re 2 and still bend over backwards and reach across the stars to care for you and make sure you have what you need and are in a safe cocoon of love, support, encouragement and harmony.

 

Looking back at all I’ve said, I realize it’s much more different from what I told your sister. That’s OK, though, because even though you’re both my kids, you’re a different case. You’re male, your sister is female so apart from raising you both to soar, I have to teach you how to be a man and have to ensure your sister is and becomes all she can optimally be under my parenting. On top of that, no 2 kids are alike, every child is always different. We’re still individual humans, so we’re different people.

 

I hope you don’t mind, ‘occassionally’, me eating ‘some’ of your baby food! Can’t help it – Cerelac is the ish. Don’t swear!

 

Alright, little man. Go have a great day with mom in your stroller. It’s a beautiful summer day and the breeze is sensational. I hear you’ll stop at a open air cafe and meet some of mom’s friends.

 

They got daughters, too, so maybe you can move to some – chicks!

 

OK, go chill with your mom now. I gotta wash this baby puke off my T-shirt.

 

Love,

 

Your greatest fan –

 

Dad

 

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Dear Daughter,

March 9, 2017

I am blessed to have you. A girl is all my own. I have so much to improve in my life because you deserve nothing less than the best. That best isn’t just in material things. That’s not what you’ll judge me on later in your life. You want me to be there for you and show you how a woman should be treated. You’ll then take that example and live by it – only if I built you up, loved you ferociously and always put you first. Cuz that’s what a father has to do. That’s the key benchmark of fathering a girl.

I don’t know where to begin. You’re my first child. I’ve seen so many people have kids and have come in contact with so many kids. I often try to gain their attention and smile at them – because you must never introduce a child to the hardness of the world, no matter how you feel. They’re not allowed to be corrupted by you. Maybe not fake smile at them but intend to do good and be good when they look at you. That energy shows. They’ll receive that energy.

I’ve always wanted to have a daughter. I feel because of my sensitivity and emotional nature, I’m better off raising women than men. I’ve realized though that I’m not less suitable to raise a man. Men must learn strength and leadership from their dads, but above everything else and like other children, boys need to be loved and encouraged every day of their lives. Even boys equate fatherhood by these standards, as success.

Now that I have you, you’re our entire lives. Your mother and me can’t stop staring at you. It’s like you’re our reality show and we’re your hardcore fans. We watch you 24 hours a day. It’s not just looking, though. We feed you, care for you and love you with tender, doting care. Because we can’t get enough of you and want to fill your life with the most love possible. There’s not enough space in the universe to quantify how much we love you. We just do.

My little princess, this world is a magnificent place. There is so much beauty on this planet, both naturally and man-made. Our human society, however, is draped in many problems that bring many people down. It fills them with disappointment and resentment. I hope, I’m sure your mother does too, you don’t experience much of this, if you ever do, but if these scenarios ever cross paths with you, know that you’re a queen! You’re a goddess. Don’t ever for a second believe any human that you’re inferior to any other human. Bear in mind, instead, that if you hear this, it’s a strong indication that you are actually superior to others. Because superior people are by and large condemned by others, when they haven’t personally affirmed their superiority to others. It’s almost like it’s a societal mechanism to compel superior people to look inward and notice their supremacy and exploit it, thereby establishing themselves as leaders in society. If that’s a societal trick, it works but I don’t like it.

You, my baby, are stunning! You have your mother’s and my intelligence. Your mother is very smart and passionate. I think I have above average intelligence, but you, my child, are a beacon of greatness, a celebration of achievement. You’re a thousand PhD research books of the world’s Ivy League Universities, collated and imprinted on your mind. At least! You will learn how to use your mind to do and get whatever you want. I will teach you. You, hopefully without much resistance, will learn self defense to never be a possible victim of domestic violence. That way, I won’t have to kill anybody. Your mother will teach  you what being a woman is all about. I’m so in love with her, her precious ways, how amazing she is and I can’t get enough of her, either. It’s like even though we love each other, we want each other more and more. I guess love always gets deeper.

You are the light of our lives. We’re gonna make you love and make you smile and be goofy enough to entertain you as your consciousness grows. OK, maybe we’ll tone it down as you get older. Yeah, maybe we will be embarrassing you in front of your friends then. ><

We’ll be there for your first walk. We’ll be there when you say your first word. We’ll throw a block party for your first birthday. Your first day of school will be recorded by us. Your first report card will be framed in the living room… OK, maybe I’ll just frame it. We will celebrate every achievement you ever make, from your first win in extracurricular activities to winning with your team, in sports – whether you’re athletic or not. We’re probably gonna over prepare your bags for your first class excursion. We are always gonna cheer you in whatever you do. You will never hear from any of us that you can’t do something or that you’re not good enough for something or even that you can’t do a certain thing because you’re a girl. No, instead, we’ll cheer you, encourage you and hype you up to do whatever it is that you want to do in that great, big mind of yours. This world is your playground. You decide what to do and how to do it. You have the full potential and power to succeed greatly at your biggest desires. You are an absolute powerhouse that can overcome any kind of problems or obstacles. You were born to win – and like Neo in The Matrix – you may or may not indeed be the chosen one or someone to be great, but you have it within you to be the chosen one and become great! And that is something I will always teach you, remind you of and tell you.

You’re a star! Go rule the world the way you know it should be ruled. Be a lighthouse in your life and lead the way but most especially – be the loving, caring, affectionate, intelligent, friendly, supportive and happy rockstar that you are –

And always remember, your parents love you unconditionally and will never stop loving you!

Now wake up – it’s time for your favourite cartoon!

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