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Parental Responsibility

Updated: Jan 12, 2022

After having kids of my own, I realize how inconsiderate I used to be as a child. I was staring at Amara this weekend and imagining what she will be like at Amelia's age, then I started to picture my oldest in three years. She'll be 8! My thoughts ran wild as I began to wonder, what kind of people they will turn out to be.

I recorded a podcast the other day and we had conversed on how it's on us parents how our child turns out. Whether they be a superstar or a serial killer, it all starts in the home. A tall task for fathers and parents alike, especially when there's a split household, it's hard to maintain the same principles across the board because of different upbringings.

As I watched Amara, I thought about the times that I defiled my parents not knowing the gravity of how my decisions could affect me. I reeled through my mind all the times I was unaware of how this world treats those who look like me, unaware, of the systems set up for my downfall. Now wondering, if being home by the time the streetlights came on was a double entendre. Deeper than the usual saying that nothing good happens at night.

How are we, as parents, supposed to protect our kids from all that can cause them harm. All I could think about in these moments was the times that I couldn't be there for them. Such as, when they're off to college, when they're in grade school, when they're hanging with friends, or at the mall. What if someone starts shooting and I'm not there, what if someone follows them home, what if, what if, what if...

Are these the fears that every parent has? I'm always watching the stove making sure they aren't close to anything that can maim them. The tea kettle, the boiling water on the stove, grits, and so much more. How can I be a good father if I can't be there every second of the day?

I worry if my daughter's will fall in love with a man who hasn't dealt with his own issues and can't face being a father, or one that uses his fist instead of words. What am I to do then, short of taking a life, how do I live with myself? They're so innocent now, ignorant to the pains that the world harvests. The inevitable pains that can either kill us or make us stronger. Which both feel the same until there is an outcome.

Thinking about all the times I snuck out, or been in places that I shouldn't have, I can now imagine the sentiment I would've put my parents through. If I had actually caught that charge or took my own life. I had no idea the ramifications I would've had to deal with if I did get charged with larceny. As I get older, I understand more and more the life of a felon. The impossible stipulations that they are forced to live by. The incessant fear of an organization asking for a background check when they have kids to feed at home.

In my current position, I'm constantly submitting background checks. The problem I have with them is that it doesn't provide any additional information. I never grasp the situation surrounding the charge, there isn't any dialogue or foot notes. All I see is whether they were found guilty, innocent, or the courts threw it out.

Sometimes I'll see a felony from 15-20 years ago but will see a petty theft charge in the recent five years. Just by looking at the paper, my first assumption will be that he couldn't get a job because of his record and had to feed his family. Who am I to judge that person for trying their best under duress?

Even though, by the grace of God, I've never been inculcated by the doctrine of the system. As a black man, I'm privy to what I'm up against. I understand how the courts will defile and emasculate in order to rip the fathers from the home and empower the mothers to live without the need for a man.

I walk the fine line every day, I got pulled over by the police with my car set on cruise five miles over the limit. 75 in a 70. He came up to my car sniffing, hoping that he would find something. Told me he clocked me at 75 but to catch me he had to get up to 92. I didn't understand what that had to do with me. I felt as if I was profiled, the officer was hoping that he would be able to pull me out the car and search my vehicle.

Not only that, but I try to go to court to fight it and there was only a lady and her staff there. No judge, no appeal, no contest. She was making up numbers as she went and when it was my turn, she barely made eye contact and offered a bogus deal. To pay to reduce it was more than the actual ticket! I was furious, I felt like I had been scammed by the government.

It makes sense though, in a minority majority community the citizens are easy targets. They know that we are willing to pay the slight increase rather than a lawyer who could probably dismember their scheme. It's unfortunate the plethora of infrastructures designed just like this one.

How will I be able to protect them from the evils of this world?

Amelia and Amara, daddy loves you.

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