The Waterpark *no sexual innuendo*

A Tom Wars Editorial

Those of you that have known me for a minute know how much I dote over my oldest nephew. Yes, the one that looks EXACTLY like I did when I was his age. I kid you not, he’s the most intelligent 5 year old I have ever met in my life…and I’m not just saying that because he’s my blood. Swear to God. We don’t get to see each other or hang out as much as I’d like, but we always have a good time when I see him. You know how it is when you’re a boy’s only nephew. Mom Dukes can tell you how much trouble we get into. She’s not amused but we are. Who cares, she’s a hater anyway.

So anyway, I took him to the waterpark on Monday. It was his first time EVER in a setting like that, so I had to lay down some ground rules before we left home. We did the water slide bit, the kid’s toy area bit, we walked around some, then we got some food, then we hit the kid’s area again. Good times. My nephew is enjoying himself immensely. He’s a social guy so he never has problems making new friends. I swear, I think he got a few phone numbers from some extreme MILF material that was there…but I digress.

He’s having a good time with his new friends while making new ones.  There were a couple i recognized from around where I live, so I would talk to their parents to let them know if they wanted to set up a day to meet somewhere, I’d be more than glad to take off work so the curtain climbers could hang out. So as the day progresses, there’s random parents coming up to the huddle to collect their kids so the family unit can depart. The whole time this is going on, I’m watching my nephew’s reaction. At first, he’s annoyed with mothers telling their bad ass kids it’s time to go. Then he realizes that my sister does the same thing to him when he’s having fun.

After a while, I notice that it’s more fathers coming to be the enforcer of the “it’s time to go” agenda. No matter HOW many families there are that are matriachal, there’s something about when pop dukes says “it’s time to go” that gets a child moving.  I don’t know if y’all notice or not, but if you keep an otherwise hyper 5 year old busy long enough, said child will be exhausted after an hour of constantly pushing his way through water and chasing other children around through afore mentioned water. It was glorious.

As we join The Great Water Park Exodus after 3 hours of fun, random people are talking to us about their day. One lady says to us “your son is so handsome, he looks JUST like you!” After me and the boy give each other a confused look, we both tell her that we’re uncle and nephew. I had to explain to her how strong our family’s genes are. As The Great Exodus continues, we see a bunch of fathers and sons huddled up at the gate hugging, high fiving, planning the next 5 weeks of activities. The boy and I start walking towards the whipper whip and I grab his hand bracing myself for the question I fear the most. As we’re waiting for the parking lot attendant to direct traffic so we can get out of our spot, I noticed my nephew wiping his eye and that his finger is wet. I ask him what’s wrong and he says nothing. I let it slide knowing that he’s just like me…that when I say nothing is wrong, it’s best to leave it alone.

He doesn’t know that I saw his shoulders slump every time one of his playmate’s dads would put them on his shoulders or bring them something to drink. He also doesn’t know that I saw him quietly crying when this group of fathers and sons walked by wearing matching clothes laughing about dad/son shit. I’ll tell you what he DOES know though…he knows that I love him with all my heart and soul. He also knows that I would tear the universe apart to find the one thing that would make him happy. He also knows that even though his poor excuse of a sperm donor doesn’t know the difference between being a father and a dad, he has a Pop Pop and an uncle that do the best they can to fill the void. It’s not the same, but at least we make the attempt.

If you’ve been paying attention, you can figure out the point of me telling that true to fucking life story that happened 3 days ago. If you can’t, I’ll spell it out for you:

1.Niggas, if you have kids and you don’t make the attempt to be a part of their life….you deserve everything bad that happens to you. There’s a little boy or girl somewhere that is missing something in their life. And it’s your fault.

2. Fellas, if you have kids and you bust your ass to do whatever you can for them…thank you. Even if you don’t see them everyday but you talk to them. Even if you only make 1 ball game or 1 recital…thank you.  Thank you for doing your job.

Now if y’all will excuse me, I have to go wipe the tears from my face and get ready for work. Y’all be easy.


  1. From the Beach

    nigga this made me cry. I remember similar instances… and it hurts to see my daughter hurt off those same feelings. Not long ago my daughter asked her step-father in the middle of him reading a story to her, his daughter, and our son “Are YOU the one that knows where my father is? do YOU know his phone #? Can you take me to see him? Nobody else will. I need to just talk to him.” She is loved and knows it, she has everything she needs and more materially. She has love from a huge family. And yet she yearns.

  2. Josh

    Simply beautiful. There is nothing more touching than seeing a father and his child interacting. This is perhaps one of the biggest reasons little boys are such bitches today. They don’t have daddy around as an example.

  3. someone pass the tissue please *sigh* very touching! great blog 🙂 – CaT

  4. Puzzled

    I couldn’t agree more and be touched. I was fortunate enough to have my dad there for me ’till this day (praise GOD!!!.) Even when I get annoyed with him being over protective (at times) and mind you, I am over 18. We need our black men to come back to the basics of placing a value on family.

    The world would certainly be a better place if we all did not just what you called a “job” a duty to our children and society as a hole. Excellent observation. I am sure your nephew appreciates your efforts to fill the void his biological father has allowed for 5 years. I pray that man would someday come to his senses before is to late. Children never forget what happened to them after the ages of 4-6. Peace and keep it up.

  5. Southern Girl

    Kudos for how open and honest you were in your post. You brought back a lot of old, difficult memories from my childhood. My mother and I had a conversation a couple of years ago and I told her that she would never understand the feelings that I had growing up. To love a man(your father), that you know cares about you, but won’t be there for you and support you like you NEED him and WANT him to be. My father was in and out of my life since my birth….I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count the many broken promises and times he said he would do something but didn’t. I battle daily with my trust issues to allow the man that cares for me, be there for me emotional. Its a pain in the ass to have this part of you that will always feel somewhat empty. Its hard to explain sometimes. Again, I appreciate your honest and thank you for sharing your story. Hopefully it opens some of these young brothas minds. Peace and Blessings.

  6. Johnny Wishbone

    I said it before.. and i’ll say it again.. well i never said it here but here it goes.. i didn’t have my father aruond but i did have my champion.. my step-father Howard Grayson who up until the moment he passed away was the greatest man in my familys life. He took on my moms and her two raggedy ass sons and made men out of us both.. thank you pop.. you are and will always be the man.

  7. Wow. I love this. I don’t think there is anything that I can add. It just made me appreciate that my ex-husband is still so involved in my daughter’s life. It would kill me to see her hurt like that. He’s lucky to have you.

  8. Brooklyn

    DAMN BABE! Thats real shit, and I have been that boy at a few times in my life. I can say this as a mother of a 5 year old who is in those same swimming trunks, I watch that every day. Imagine how his mom feels. We are the women who picked these men… but never EVER do I second guess myself, GOD is still the head man in my house. I kiss you all over ya face for what your doing for that kid, and if you ever get ya hands on the father… well…yanno. MIRACLES & BLESSINGS.

  9. Sha

    Welp..I wrote my reply to this story and deleted 3 different replies..I have so many thoughts on this fatherless nation subject.. I could write my own Blog..I am raising a 12 year old Black child….White people will say..why do you have to make it a race thing..Because it is.. There are some very real statitistics..Did you know that since 1960…the percentage of black children born to a fatherless family has grown from 19.1% in 1960 to almost 69% 1995.. Imagine what the number will do if it keeps growing…I need not share how many times my heart drops when my son has watched all his friends fathers fix their flat tires or visit father/son school functions. I taught my son how to change the oil in my truck and know when to get a tune up and how to save 10 % of every type of income he recieves for his retirement. I am his father and mother because I refused to raise my son in abusive environment. I decided to allow him to live free and in a loving environment. True to my word he is free to spend time with his father but has continually visited disappointment because his father is living with regret and wants to rehash our relationship.. If I won’t give in..our son suffers.. Imagine going to judgement day on that note..All the while..takes care of his latest “white/black” daughter who is 5 and loves my son dearly. Sad part is…my son sees how his half sister gets her “daddy” and he doesn’t…. How do you protect your child from pain like that..You don’t..You pray and hope he doesn’t become what from where he came from..

    *wipes tears*

  10. I like the statistics Sha but can you compare them to other demographics (whites in the Applachian mountains or southeast asians in Bali) to make the weight of the numbers a but more relevant?

  11. color had absolutely NOTHING to do with that story. she’s a racist!

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