It's important to have days like Father's Day and Mother's Day highlighting men and women in their roles because there's a lot to being a parent. The sacrifices made as well as the beauty in watching them grow to be who you raised them to be. In an open mic one day I heard this poem called "It's apparent that I'm a parent." Eloquently written and spoken it detailed all that parents go through. From the dirty diapers to the late nights to the unstoppable crying to trying to find a babysitter so that you can continue life.
All worth it though, and over the weekend I saw Fatherhood starring Kevin Hart which showed everything that a single father goes through. Single mothers and fathers, truthfully, but I loved the film because it portrayed life from our perspective. Unfortunately, it wasn't supposed to be that way for him but his wife died due to complications after her cesarean section or c-section.
This is important because black women are much more likely to pass away during childbirth than any other race. This is an eye opening statistic because they all go to similar doctors and there should be accountability for this. One of the main reasons black people don't trust doctors today, along with the Tuskegee experiment and other vile instances towards my people. Even with the ramping Coronavirus, we still fear getting the vaccine because in impoverished areas they don't know what's in the needles.
I felt like I was watching from an entirely different viewpoint than most. While speaking at his wife's funeral the camera showed him looking at his newborn daughter while at a loss of words. That scene immediately took me to a time when all that I had planned, having a family and raising my child under a two parent household vanished from beneath me. Amelia's mom wasn't dead but everything I had envisioned was, and I was left to be a single father passing my daughter back and forth across state lines.
A scene or two later came the doubt, his own mother as well as his deceased wife's mom told him that he should move back because he can't do it by himself. In my experience it seemed as if I was being doubted from all angles, friends, the other family, society, and sometimes my own family. Hart's response was that maybe he couldn't, but there was no way that he wasn't going to try his hardest to be the best father that he could.
As the movie continued he had his daughter wherever he went and was getting obnoxious questions as to where the mother was and slick comments. The one I hate the most is "Aw you're such a good dad," it seems filled with micro aggression and emasculation. That's how it feels to me, at least, I rather them comment on how beautiful my daughter is instead.
I know that I'm a good father, but no one can tell whether someone is a great parent just by seeing them with their kid. It goes for mothers and fathers, there are a lot of spiteful mom's walking around keeping fathers from their kids and embracing the single mother without help role. I guess, it's just my personal experiences that makes me feel that comments such as the aforementioned are disingenuous.
The parts where he was trying to get his baby to sleep was funny because I been through the same thing. Amelia, when she was young, had trouble sleeping. Her mother and I tried everything while she just stared in our faces, I remember times driving around the block in hopes that she will knockout. I laughed when he was introduced to the swaddle, he wondered if she was going to run away and I believed that my baby was suffocating the first time I seen it.
A scene that really resonated with me was when he went to the parents meeting and ran into a room full of women. There first response was that Alcohol Anonymous was down the hall and when he relayed that he was a father they still were unwilling to help. They claimed that it was a class for women when it really said it was for parents, and sometimes as fathers we feel excommunicated from parenthood and often don't want to reach out for help because fear of being turned away. Some would claim that we aren't really for our kids while others ignore our pain telling us to suck it up. Let the women be them as we suffer from their raging hormones.
It wasn't until he started detailing the issues he was dealing with before they caved in offering advice, not sure if they really wanted to. When I was a new father the poop situation was difficult because like he said in the movie, it comes out in so many different ways. I usually wondered if she was sick when it was milky and cringed at the stink the more it solidified. His exhortation that he needed help hit the heart because how unfortunate his situation was and other men wanting to be in their kids' lives.
There was a scene where he tried to have a babysitter to go out with friends but all he could do was think about was being with his daughter. He made a comment after picking her up saying that they didn't need anybody else, that it was just him and her. I've carried that sentiment on multiple occasions especially spending time away from my kids, I just wanted to cuddle with my babies.
One thing that really resonated with me was when he tried to move on and date again, we have different pains but similar experiences. There was an obvious battle with splitting time with this new lady and his daughter and it tugged at his heart. As a single father, sometimes I feel guilt when trying to move on. Wondering what my daughter will think of me because I'm not with her mother, the new ladies perception of me because I have two daughters by two different mothers.
Kevin Hart's character's daughter got hurt and he wasn't by his phone because he was laid up with his new lady. Which by the way, had the same name as his deceased wife, I remember I came across another woman with Amelia's mom's name. I shut down when presented with an opportunity to advance further than a conversation.
I carried the same sentiment that he did when he realized that he missed ten plus calls from his daughter's school. Mine was when I missed a call from her mom knowing that she probably won't call back for another day or two, or not at all. Missing my window of opportunity to speak to my baby and him missing his to be there for his like he couldn't be for his wife.
The part that really got to me was after the fact when he brought his new lady into the room to break up with her. I've been there plenty of times, fearing the future because of the scars of the past. His was not being there for his wife's death and mine were the trepidations that permeated my mind after dealing with a disastrous relationship. The scene of the break up was like a mirror of my own life except the woman would be telling me to let go of the past and stop comparing everyone to my pain.
Now, I'm waiting for my fairytale ending where both my daughters are living in harmony with the new lady that I choose to be with. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and will be one that I rewatch more than twice most likely. I like that Kevin Hart is moving into new roles because he isn't that funny to me, but he had me laughing enough to be interested.
I love my daughters so much! I love my babies, and the life of a father. Even though it's not ideal, I'm blessed to be in the position that I currently find myself in. Amelia and Amara, daddy loves you.