It’s been couple of weeks since my wife and I dropped our son off for college for his freshman year. I have to say only now are we beginning to adjust. Even with our very vocal daughter still under our charge the quiet emptiness our son has left behind is palpable. For years I salivated over the idea of getting him out of the house. He ate too much, slept too much and did too much or too little of plenty that fathers perpetually beef about when it comes to their sons as they age into young men. But as we got closer to that day of departure for college I was caught off guard as I became overcome with sadness. I was losing/giving my son to the world, with only faith but not proof of what the outcome will be. I eventually overcame my sadness by spending as much quality time as I possibly could with my boy in the remaining days we had together so by the time we drove away from his dorm I was happier for him than sad for myself.
Nearly all the fathers of color I know feel and do the same for their young. We are hiding in plain sight everywhere, not seeking recognition for our everyday activities, but definitely acknowledgement that we do in fact exist.
I’m beginning this letter to you in early August. I’m not sure what date I’ll end this but I’m thinking it may take weeks to get it all typed out. Right now I’m in Chicago being driven through the neighborhoods of my childhood. From what I see outside my car window there isn’t too much to speak of. Some of these places look like they’ve been hit with mortar shells. This is truly heartbreaking. But that is the nature of this life game: if you don’t take care of something, it falls into decay. Remember this, because knowing so will keep you ahead of the crowd.
I’ve made many mistakes in this life. Some weren’t so bad and others have been downright idiotic. I don’t have any regrets though. I’ve been blessed with the ability to learn from many of them. This has made them teachers to me rather than my destroyers. Some of the lessons were easy to learn. Some were and are still painful to this day.
Read the rest of this touching note here.
Make sure to read Letters To A Mixed Race Son [VIDEO]
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