When a baby boy grows up without a Dad.

I love J. Cole. I think he is a modern day Socrates. His art is philosophical. His flow is insightful. His music is just awesome, you know? I love that he provokes me to think about life. That’s why I rank him in my top 5 favorite rappers alive list. Yes, I have a list and everything, lol (the others and the rank are a story for another day:)).

So this one time, I was just sitting outside, basking in the morning sunshine,enjoying the site of fresh green grass, babysitting for my neighbor. She’s a young mother, still in University and her son is this adorable 2year old. So anyway, we were basking together, listening to J. Cole’s Enchanted Friday Night Lights and he starts dancing(let’s call this little boy Ray).

Ray just starts dancing, out of tune with the beat (like a mzungu,lol). He doesn’t care or seem to worry because he is just a baby and his youth has not been tainted by the harshness of society -yet. He is just a happy little boy dancing in the morning sun. Even when Cole says // This is where the fathers ain’t living, at least not with us. Might see us round the city and won’t even say what’s up. // he keeps dancing. He is still too young for it to bother him.

Ray’s dad is not around. I mean he is around somewhere, he is just not around Ray and his mum. To Ray, he is probably just a man with a title; Baba

He likes to tell me stuff about his dad, the way kids brag. Ray tells me that his dad is a police officer. He’ll just randomly come up to me and say in my face,” Baba yangu ni polisiii.” You remember in kindergarten when we used to brag to our classmates sijui ooh my dad can beat up your dad, ooh my dad has a car (pickup) and my favorite, nitakusema kwa baba yangu, he’s a cop. Like your dad would walk you into your class the next morning and arrest that big chubby class bully? Ray has a romanticized idea of his dad.

I wonder what the future has in store for this little boy. Will he still brag about his dad when he gets to primary school? When his English teacher asks him to answer with a question tag ; Your father is home,…. Will he ponder about that the entire day then go home and ask his mum about it? Will she tell him the truth? Either way, he will still be a boy without a dad. It is one thing to have a father and another to have a dad.

I am not a man. I may not know what makes a boy a man but I still have to wonder. Who will teach this boy about man things? Ray pees while sitting down on his potty. True story,haha. Sure, his mum has tried to teach him otherwise but still no change. Who will teach him how to shave? But he’s only two. There is still time for him.

Maybe he will get lucky and find a father figure. A male role model to look up to. Maybe his mum and dad will get together again and get married and he can have a dad who is actually there.To tell him what he actually does for a living. To teach him how to shave for goodness sake! To take him to football games. To help him cope during his teen years. To whoop his ass and keep him in check when he starts feeling like an adult at 17 and he hasn’t even gotten an ID yet. To teach him how to treat a woman. To show him what a real man does and doesn’t do. To show up at his graduation from University and give him life advice and covertly tell him that he better get a job ASAP and move out of his house. To just show up and be his dad. For now, his mum will be enough. His everything.

I hope the fact that his dad isn’t around won’t be a handicap for him. He won’t use it as an excuse to be a delinquent or to be mediocre in life or to be another deadbeat or to let his beautiful light fade because he is a ray of sunshine. I hope life is kind to a boy like him and even if it isn’t, it won’t be for too long. 

I hope he’ll turn out great. I mean, look at J. Cole, he’s great!

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