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.