When a child is welcomed into the world by its parents, there are so many things to anticipate, appreciate, and discover. There is always much to do in order to make sure that a child has a very good upbringing that is developed by/through good family values and structure. There are always those things that we can predict as well as those things that we cannot. Amongst those things that we can predict are the many times when a child will be hungry, tired, or in need of attention and affection. Amongst those things that we cannot (often) predict are the many bumps and bruises a child will receive, along with the many questions about life/adulthood that are complicated and completely, unexpectedly, abnormal for any child their age (or so we often times think). The most common questions that all children want answered, that so many parents dread to give a response to, are “Where do babies come from” and “How do you make a baby”? Perhaps even more (other) frightening questions are, “How did you know you wanted to have me “ and “How/When did you find out that you were going to have a baby”? While almost all of these questions can be answered by reading about adolescence and maturation into adulthood in their middle school health class textbooks (or the Discovery Channel’s “Miracle of Life” that almost all of them will see at some point in high school), the most difficult questions that some parents will be asked are, “How/Why did you and mommy/daddy get together” and ”What made you and mommy/daddy break up”? The responses needed to give the most accurate and accommodating explanations/answers are not easy to provide as parents try to creatively produce responses to the questions according to their child’s age/maturity level, the perception that the child has of both their parents, the perception that the child has of the other parent that is absent from the home, the perception that the parent being asked the question would like for the child to have of the other parent absent from the home, along with how and why adult relationships and decisions are formed. Parents are also inclined to be very careful due to the fact that they do not want to shatter the image and expectations that their child has of them since children are also inclined to ask follow-up questions in order to judge/determine the validity and reliability of the explanations/answers given in order to use this as the criteria, the guide, the blueprint, the manual that is used to govern their own behaviors, attitudes, actions, reactions, affairs, and relationships as adults. This (then) leads the child to follow and believe in the explanations/answers given (whole heartedly), or to reject them and find their own way to pursue a much more fulfilling life as an adult, a mate, a parent after discovering that the explanations/answers has way too many inconsistencies and/or contradictions that are (now) opposite of their parents values, morals, and ethics based upon their choices in deciding how to live their own lives (now) while raising a child. This in turn sets up the inevitable question. “If/While you were together, did you ever want to get married”?
The explanation/meaning of life’s journey and relationships begins with stories of notes being passed around during math lessons in third grade. “Do you like me? Circle Yes, No, or Maybe”. This is usually followed up with Valentine’s Day cards, stuffed animals, and candy. As the years fly by from elementary school, to middle school, to high school, to undergrad, the same cycle continues with a lot more depth and much-needed attention to detail. A note asking the question of “Do you like me” is now replaced with cleverly disguised intentions, messages, and indirect discretely verbalized thoughts followed by well thought out ”spontaneously” organized actions, and reactions to flirtatious behaviors. Sometimes the complex nature of executing the precision necessary for propitious flirting is an art, a science, a skill, a talent that some young men and women master well before they are seventeen years old. This is due to the fact that they have already seen, heard, and understand quite well the intentions and desires of the opposite sex through the many, many influences and “schooling” that stems from music, television, cinema, and older men and women (in their families or inner circles) that have experiences interacting and mingling with those that they are attracted to/desire. The exchanging of phone numbers, Facebook friend requests, and Twitter account names sometimes leads to romantically charged, emotionally stimulating, late night pillow talk via iPhone. The many late night conversations that has breached a woman’s security defenses then sets up the invitations for rendezvous at restaurants, parks, coffee shops, and get togethers at a mutual friend’s house. As she still is uncertain as to when she will be intimate with him, not if – because that decision was already made when she initially acknowledged his flirting and advances, the three-step interview/screening process goes accordingly (or in some cases better than expected) in both their eyes. After she surrenders the remainder of her defenses, her trust, her faith is given without a clear verbal agreement or acceptance to safeguard it. She simply places her hands across her chest, removes her heart, takes it apart piece by piece, and (then) slowly reassembles it inside his lap. She never asked for it back, nor did she ask for him to give his to her in exchange. And so, this is how it begins. “This is how your father/mother and I first got together”.
After a couple of weeks of dating, and several intense intimate episodes, a relationship is established (for one them at least). There are questions that linger and may go unanswered. ”Who wanted it more? Is this what we both wanted? What am I expected to do/be? What are we hoping/going to accomplish together”? Yes, these are the questions that sometimes go unanswered. And, if by chance they are answered, this usually happens during an argument when one disappoints the other (person) by being inconsiderate, or action/reaction towards a situation where they thought what they were doing was well within their rights, well with in the bounds of the relationship. Moreover, in some cases the arguing never (really) truly answers any of these questions, rather it is used to provide unreliable, invalid, unsustainable, and irrational ”proof” to determine who should be right, who should lead, and who should follow. Fall outs eventually become break-ups. The relationship ends, then begins again sometimes after several days or weeks of sexual withdraw. The cycle repeats itself (for years) until one day one person realizes that this relationship, this situation is toxic and unhealthy. In some cases the man sees where he went wrong. He admits (to himself) that he was only interested in the option of being involved with a woman, not the opportunity to build and have a relationship with one. He again confronts himself and admits that he only knew of the pinnacles of sexual fulfillment, “freedom”, and fun, not the fundamental principles of sustaining a normal, healthy relationship with a woman. She admits (to herself) that she was foolishly naive and only had a uncontrolable, insatiable, lustful desire for (finding) love and companionship, not a strong work ethic and patience (necessary) to cultivate the relationship to see if it would become what she was looking for. She now recognizes all the warning signs that she ignored when the breach in her security defenses was reached as she focused only on so many of his wonderful, beautifully delightful qualities and attributes. His smile. His charm. His eyes. His hair. His style. His intelligence. His physique. His eloquent speech. His academic and career success. His wealth. His lifestyle. His “swag”. His age. His life experiences. His ambition. His social-economic status. His eligibility to become apart of her life. His availability to provide comforting passion that brought about a much-needed, most desirable indulging warmth to her bed on cold winter nights. His ring finger missing a wedding band that she wanted to see placed on it for the rest of their lives.
As the two mature, consenting adults try to mend a relationship (that probably never was) for the last time, once again insecurities, pride, an absence of boundaries, misguidance, and an over indulgence in intimacy dictates and navigates where it will go and how far. As she struggles to fight against the sickening feeling(s) brought about by this emotional roller coaster, and the unforgettable painful memories of past relationships, her pestimistic thoughts, fears of failing at love, and feelings of doubt are resurrected (again) through the lyrics in the soundtrack of life. She begins to compare her life to a woman who Indie Arie describes in “Ready for Love” (i.e. ”tell me what is enough to prove that I am ready for love”). She also (eventually) realizes that she is a victim of abuse/assault by her own worse enemy, herself, as she is (perhaps) reliving the true life story of a tormented Jill Scott that finally admits to herself that she is “So Gone” (i.e. “why doesn’t my body listen to what my mind says”). The many wonderful (but heartbreaking) acts of “love” and intimacy trying to mend a relationship together again eventually leads to the mysterious accident that would truly signal the end. “I’m pregnant… again”.
The shock leads him searching for the clues, the reasons as to why/how this has happened. Was it the potency behind the half of that Viagra pill? Was it the Hennessy? Was it the Tanqueray? Was it the Bacardi Lime? Was it the Courvoisier? Was it the Jack Daniels? Was it the Grey Goose? Was it the Sex on the Beach? Was it one too many chances, one too many risks at “Russian Roulette”? She wonders if she was that (destined) 1% that was left out of the other 99% efficiency for her birth control to prevent unwanted pregnancies. “Was it the one too many times of forgetting to take it before I left the house for work? “Maybe if I always carried it/them in my purse when I knew I was going to see him. Was it simply irresponsibility, or is it God answering my question as to the meaning of life and fulfilling my destiny”? Abortion is not the answer nor an option… this time. As they try to mend their relationship (again) due to circumstance, she takes a stand. “A family should live together under one roof”. Now it is he who must surrender his trust and the remainder of his security defenses. As each trimester brings about new changes, it does not come without the enormous expense or great costs of facing new challenges and experiences. During the final trimester, emotions are high. Hormones are raging out of control. The unthinkable happens as she admits to him, “I’m ready”. She now embraces her new role as she has taken sole control of the relationship. “Do you want to marry me”?
Forced to choose between the “modern-day family” and “freedom”, he chooses his “freedom”. His rationale and logical reasoning will never suffice after her (heart’s) many sacrifices. Now feeling confused, upset, disappointed, angered, ashamed, and betrayed, she focuses on becoming a survivor like so many other woman before her. She now focuses and channels her feelings of anger, rage, betrayal, and disappointment to discover new allies that will help her wage war against all men. While the songs of Adelle and an experienced Celine Dion were/are good company, they are not able to relate to her true life story. She then/now decides to seek relationship advice and counseling through the therapeutic malpractices of (an early to late 90′s) Toni Braxton, Beyonce Knowles and (early to late 90′s) Mary J. Blige. This is then followed by uploading the “Unplugged” spiritual and inspirational misguidance from a missed education on the “Miseducation of Lauryn Hill”, while the many voice mails, emails, and text messages to mentor and life coach Oprah Winfrey has yet to be responded to. And (still) after all this aid and support, she may not be a qualified, capable leader/father (figure) in the home. As the child is born, the final stages of “modern-day family” living arrangements (or separation) are under way. As she leaves the hospital to stay with her mother (who raised her without a visible, consistent father in the home), he makes arrangements for visits to the house. He brings the gifts, the toys, the clothes, and baby necessities. A family divided. A reason known, but never quite understood. Now in survival mode, she engages in acts of war through family court. Pay stubs, filed income tax statements, present and past residences, present and past employer addresses. “Welcome to the system, bro”. Meanwhile, a child grows up in a home surrounded by women without a visible, consistent father (figure) to provide the best model/example of what, when, why, how men provide.
This is just one example (too many) of the potentially thousands of “accidental” boyfriend-girlfriend relationships that skip marriage and goes straight to family (court). In all actuality, there isn’t a family (sometimes) because one person involved is more/less interested in having a child, while the other becomes heavily involved, invested towards raising a family. Worse than this is when individuals do not learn from these examples and continue to follow the cycle, the pattern, for years inviting/producing innocent victims to share in the confusion, the misery, the reality that has become “the modern-day family” living arrangement. Children often times do not see or hear from their fathers who were never apart of a broken home as he realized a long time ago that “freedom” has its rewards. “Freedom” allows for one to relive the jovial late adolescent/young adult thrills of Spring Break (in Daytona), Mardi Gras, and the ”Freak-nic” (i.e. Greek Picnic) from 1995-1999 every chance he gets from Memorial Day, to the Fourth of July, and Labor Day weekend(s). “Freedom” allows for one to arrive at home at anytime of the night/morning. “Freedom” allows for one to have a full night’s rest when a child is sick at their mother’s/grandmother’s house. “Freedom” allows you to miss report card conferences because of a double-header game between the Phillies and the Mets at Citizens Bank Ball Park. “Freedom” allows you to catch up with WWE Monday Night Raw and TNA, while Tuesday through Thursday night allows you to catch more highlights of “T & A” at Delila’s, Show and Tel, or Club Risque’. “Freedom” allows for you to “expand your business” as you are still eligible, available to “service” many, many “clients” because one has the ability, talent, and “skill set” that meets all the desired requirements to satisfy/fulfill the “position(s)”. “Freedom” allows you to enjoy the luxury, space, and time of being a part-time parent. “Freedom” allows you to continue to be enslaved by unfulfilled adolescent sexual fantasies, misguidance, immaturity, greed, and selfishness. Meanwhile, many single mothers work one full-time and two part-time jobs as their children are left to raise themselves… literally. There are countless numbers of children doing the job(s) of the absent parent(s) each day before the school bell rings, and way after the final news broadcast for the night. From daycare drop off and pick up, to food shopping, preparing meals, doing laundry, maintenance inside/outside the home, arranging (late) utility payment agreemnts, and attending parent-teacher report card conferences for younger siblings, they are left to raise themselves and a family that they never asked to have. A childhood lost. A childhood stolen.
Far too often a woman may have two, three, or four children by different men as she has not learned that “accidental” boyfriend-girlfriend relationships (sometimes) have no rules and no boundaries, only lustful desires and expectations upon which either person may set high standards/demands. This is an unfortunate reality since we (now) only wish to obey a family court’s judge ruling/commands derived from several amendments to the laws of the land that are (now) in place since far too many individuals abandon responsibilities, obligations, and families.. And yes, there are true fathers that embrace being a provider, protector, maintainer for their families, but their efforts and success are far too often overshadowed by the several enormous ”missteps” of the Desmond Hatchetts, Terrell Owens, Antonio Cramarties, and the likes. Moreover, if by chance the true fathers, providers, protectors, maintainers of their families are removed from this class of misfortune fathers, they are still not given the credit that is beyond well deserved when men offer their significant others/”baby muh-vuhs” the “shut-up” ring (i.e. engagemant ring) in order to pacify their ”future spouses” for another five, six, or seven years as they finish out their tours for/of “freedom”. While most of these type(s) of men are often scared to commit to a woman, they invest enormously ridiculous amounts of their time and wealth to be entertained, and share a sacred bound/relationship for 20- 30 years with sports franchises that almost never win (championships). And, if by chance they do win (a championship), what are the long term benefits? These type(s) of men never intend to marry a woman as they fear with much fear the failure of a marriage only because of the possibility of losing wealth due to alimony payments. This mentality, this chance, this risk sets them up to be blind-sided by their own ignorance and stupidity as their live in ”future spouse”/”baby muh-vuh” files for palimony and child support payments to insure their child’s future and hers, as she now knows for sure that he never had any intentions on becoming a full time devoted husband and loving father.
Moreover, these type(s) of men would much rather take a chance at being subjugated/sentenced to purgatory than to ever miss out on an opportunity to prove that they do not lack the “testicular fortitude” to go toe-to-toe with the likes of Jessica James, Janet Jacme, or Kim Kardashian. Sadly, many of these men still compete with one another (as though they are still in high school) as they try to set/break porn industry (like) records. There often times is not enough space on one’s wall of shame to showcase the many meaningless, worthless accomplishments and trophies. This is a hideous truth that is both sad and laughable as many of them try to remove their “awards” from storage and relocate into areas/neighborhoods where there are traditional families with traditional values, expectations, and structure to which they want no parts of. Yet, they expect to raise a child, a family, “the modern-day family” in a community, a society where they would want their children to share in the lives of others having these things although they are absent in/from their own homes.
To/For the many adults, parents that fulfill their obligations to/for their families and society (whether single or married) that unfortunately, unwillingly tolerate the lack of morals, ethics, and values of the mistake ridden,” accidental” boyfriend-girlfriend relationship having, ”modern-day family” (because you are forced to), you are (hopefully) amongst the best of people who are excellent examples and best representation of what a modern-day family/society should consist of. Though you will most likely never be acknowledged or rewarded for your efforts and accomplishments in providing, promoting outstanding examples/models for the highest standards for the quality of life for the future success of a society filled with the modern-day family, hopefully the many lives, victims, survivors of fatherless homes that you help escape this reality will never have to experience such a way of life again.