Both Sides Of The Coin
| by: J.P. |
In the recent week I watched a very unique interview between Legendary MC and uncensored On Air Personality Host Joe Budden, and Atlanta R&B artist 6lack (pronounced Black). 6lack is not known for interviews which made this more intriguing. With his unique R&B, mellow tone, and vibrant sound 6lack has definitely grabbed the attention of many music lovers and other artists. Especially with songs like “Prblems” and “Ex Calling”. During this interview on Joe Buddens’ series Pull Up, the two discuss music, the industry, money, 6lack’s journey to where he is today, family and others. On the subject of family one particular segment caught my attention. The relation between 6lack and his new born daughter, Syx. When asked about being a father 6lack was at a loss for words and could only say “the best shit that could ever happen to me, in my life”. Having a toddler daughter myself, I was able to have an instant connection and recognize the feelings. He then followed by telling how he isn’t around his daughter as much as he would like. He spoke of how he missed monumental moments in her life like her birth but when able to, he is with her and their time is great. Joe follows with the simple question, “Why are you missing these important dates?”
“I’m securing her future…” – 6lack
My interest is peaked. Can you win both sides of the coin? Being a great father who’s present for monumental events as well as be a provider who creates a lifestyle that will secure the child’s future. Or does the sacrifice of one outweigh the other? Does it stain the relationship between father and child? Like Joe Budden and 6lack, as black fathers in America we are brought up to be providers, THE providers of the house. That is our main focus. To provide for our families and know when we leave the house they are secured. In the same sentence we strive to be top tier FATHERS. Men that are always there for the child in time of need, life coaches and stepping stones in their lives. Grabbing both comes at a cost, a cost that is often overlooked by those whose’ view comes from at different angle. Life as an entertainer, I can only imagine, is hectic. Full schedules, continuous traveling, long nights and much more. There is a physical gravitational separation from their work and their family, yet somehow the worlds are on the same axis. No one world is above the other.
I knew my thoughts but I needed other viewpoints of the subject. I called a few contacts to speak on their personal experiences, and for security and privacy purposes I’ve changed their names for the story. First I spoke with Alexis, a 25 year old nurse in Miami, who explained how her father was a truck driver constantly on the road and his time at home was maybe two or three weeks before he was back on the road again. Compare that to the life of an entertainer who spends months on the road. She didn’t think much on it because when she needed something he was still there for her financially. One call away. I asked if she resented him for always being on the road. Her response was simple, no. In all actuality she was glad because she might not have turned out the way she did. Alexis benefits financially from her father but where is the mental benefit. Providing for your child goes deeper than the dollar. Nowadays everything is so money driven but who’s to blame if having the best has a price tag. She added that her mother periodically had comments such as, “Your dad is never here anyway so he doesn’t run anything.” Odd, but not the first time I’ve heard that. We spoke for another 30 minutes discussing the difference in benefiting financially vs mentally. Not being there physically but letting your presence be felt. At times it seems the financial aspect is the key factor that makes the sacrifice of chasing that future security even make sense. Seems that the line between the two is so thin yet are so far apart. Another major factor is the mother and her views on the father. She plays a vital role. Next was Tara, 29, fueled by women’s liberation and a believer in female dominance. She took me down a journey through her childhood. Her father was around but worked night shifts. The plus was her mother would let both her younger brother and herself know if he wasn’t joining them for dinner. Her mother would explain that her father was working overnight for “this and that” reason. Seemed functional to me, however, she tells me that because of her mother’s stale explanations she eventually created her own storylines. Her mother gave her slight reassurance but a lack of transparency led to confusion and misunderstanding. Now, take into consideration the child of an entertainer. They see and are reminded daily of their fathers doings with news, social media, etc. Even with that, is it enough to secure them mentally?
As for me. I made the decision to make a move that would put me physically thousands of miles away from my daughter but would create security for not only her but myself as well. A decision that took a lot of prayer and thought. Something myself as well as others fathers like Joe Budden and 6lack pray will make our children proud and forever grateful. As a father there is absolutely NOTHING I wouldn’t do for my daughter. I envision her sitting next to me daily. There is no length I wouldn’t go to-to ensure and secure a better future for her. With that comes the hard reality of the fact that there will be moments and events I’m absent from. It’s a sacrifice that takes true strength to follow through. A sacrifice, I believe, requires 3 things; a strong faith in God, strong belief in the greater cause and a solid support system. Those that support you will assist in keeping you level headed. 6lack gives a lot of credit to those he keeps around him for the reassurance and consistent support. Having a daughter puts both 6lack and I in a position to show them what the acts of a real man are. That real love is sacrifice. It isn’t always about being able to stand face to face but the inner feeling of peace the person brings you regardless of distance. One thing is for sure. What we do, the sacrifices, the hardship. That all comes from the core. That comes from a place protected by God. Only a man of pure heart can succeed in winning both sides of the coin.