Being a father

It was a day that started like any other. Woke up, got ready and went to work. We had been waiting for so long that life seemed to be more about the waiting than the end result. Nine months of waiting (well, six really. We found out late.) At lunch, I headed home to pick up the missus to go for what we hoped was the last visit to the gynae. My son was a week overdue. When I got home, I had to wait while my wife finished up a meeting. We were anxious. Looking forward to parenthood, but it was something that was ‘going’ to happen, instead of actually ‘happening’. Two hours later, I was in a state of bliss, awe, shock, confusion and borderline panic. I was a father to a very big (4.78kg) baby boy, Kweku.

On that day, I finally found purpose. True purpose. My responsibility became to build a legacy that my son can be proud of. My responsibility became to give him the foundation from which he can achieve whatever he desires. My responsibility became to make it through the rest of my life without messing him up too much. I am the example he will probably try to be like or be the total opposite of. But that’s all the ‘head in the sky’ stuff. It’s great in theory; the reality is always something else. Half the time, I’m just trying to keep my head above water.

I have spent the last two years in awe. I catch myself just watching him, forgetting to tell him “Get down! Stay away from the pool! Don’t throw that! Eat this! Sorry. Don’t cry! Naughty door!”

I smile more. Definitely laugh a lot more. I must admit that while I generally laugh with him, sometimes it is at him. He pulls the strangest, funniest faces sometimes.

I remember saying to my wife that, one day, he would come walking round the corner, calling Mommee and Daddee. He does it every night somewhere between midnight and 2am as he makes the short trek from his room to ours. The other night, I was still up working so I put him into our bed and, before I could say anything, he smiled and said “bye, bye”. And just like that, I was dismissed from my own room.

One minute, he was a baby, next he’s running up and down, climbing anything in his path and giving running commentary all the time. Everything is ‘this’ and ‘that’ but the vocabulary is growing every day. And, every day, there’s another milestone and we are only at two years. I’m still recovering from the fact that he now kicks the ball back to ME when we are playing. Used to be he would either throw or kick it without direction. Now he places it and kicks it to me. I taught him how to bob his head to the music before he was one. Now he has his favourite songs, especially Black Eyed Peas’ Boom Boom Pow.

School has been hard on all of us, but it is still early days. I love that when I pick him up, he looks at the teacher, points at me and says “Daddee”. I love being a father. I wish this was all I had to do. It is still early days, but I consider this one of the ultimate blessings in life.

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Kojo Baffoe

Kojo Baffoe

Kojo Baffoe , editor of DESTINY Man magazine, a father, a son, a brother, a husband, a friend, a poet, a writer on a quest to make sense of this reality, with words. Visit his website.

9 Responses

  1. Time goes by way to fast and I hate to tell you but that doesn’t slow down any so get ready for it to speed up. I’m with you on how quickly priorities change and how everything you do now effects someone else and that is the coolest and scariest feeling you’ll ever feel.

    All part of the fun of being a father. I love it and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

  2. very impressed with yr story , i wish all dads were like that. It’s so sad having a 6 yr old daughter who dad doesn’t want and recently having a step dad whom is also more like the real dad.

    may god bless yr family,

  3. some men front ,portray hardness when is comes to showing affection ,your words are caring ,reassuring and beautiful ,I believed your words ,may god grant you long life and prosperity to fulfill your dream of being the greatest dad ..peace be unto your soul ..

  4. I have been blessed to have had a father who serves as my example for fatherhood. Thank you all for the comments. It is still the beginning of our journey but I do hope Kweku will be able to look at me with love & respect. Samy, Miss Tee, Anonymous – Look at the words of fathers like Paul, and Reggie, and Barrie. I believe that there are lots of men out there who have embraced the joys of fatherhood. They are not an anomaly.

  5. Thank you for such a heart-warming article. I found it extremely refreshing that you displayed such softness in describing your son. I am in the process of getting divorced with the main reason being my husbands indifference towards his kids. You have helped show me that all men don’t have the same attitude, just when bitterness was taking over my opinion of men.

  6. Thanks for writing this Kojo. As a parent only a few years ahead of you (it seems) it’s so easy to forget some of the things you’re discovering and treasuring. Of course there are new ‘things’ that as dad’s we get to discover as our children get older, but it is easy to forget what it was like ‘just the other day’.

    I watched my 6 year old daughter flirt with a teenage boy for the first time the other day. It was innocent, it was without direction, it was what 6 year old girls do when they first discover that part of themselves I suppose. Of course my fear is that pretty soon she’ll be flirting with direction and intentionality.

    I’d far rather we were still learning to kick a soccer ball together : )

  7. Wow! Kojo you brought tears to my eyes. I was recently seperated from my husband and I didn’t know men could feel this way.

  8. Thanks for the post..
    When my daughters were born, I was totally out of my depth…but they snuggled deep into my heart.
    I know it might sound selfish, but when I see myself, these days, in my two teenagers (well the youngest one would also call herself a tweenager), I get emotional. Its not the fact that I see myself (even though they are girls), its just that it creates such a deep (almost spiritual) bond, which is beyond words. My oldest recently had an issue at school, wifey and me had to attend a meeting and face up to the principal and SGB. When I spoke, I got so emotional, I felt embarrassed afterwards..its just too deep for words. In retrospect, I realise, they sometimes shape me more then I would admit…and I am loving it

  9. I’m not sure I was filled with such a sense of purpose as much as I was pretty much bewildered for the first week after Aaron was born. Since then my priorities have certainly shifted to focus on him and on my little family.

    I have come to know a fear I never knew existed before as I worry about all the things that could threaten him and our general wellbeing. At the same time I have also experienced a sense of joy and amazement that I didn’t anticipate as I have watched him grow up and learn new things that we take for granted. It amazes me how quickly he picks things up!

    I also love being a dad. I love being his dad and although there are times I miss the quiet days before he was born, I wouldn’t swap this life for anything. One of my main goals now is to do do better for him and my wife and give them the best life I possibly can. It is all about them now.

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