I was about fifteen and I was in the movie theater watching “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.” The guy playing Sidney Poitier’s father (Roy Glenn) was on a tirade about how as a mailman, he had carried his heavy bag for long hours and then years, in order to help Sidney to be the man that he had become. His father demanded that Sidney should be appreciative of his efforts.
Prior to hearing this speech, I truly believed that as the child, I was obligated to ensure that I made my parents happy because I owed them (I still felt that that was the right way to feel but I guess that’s part of being a good kid). After hearing Mr. Poitier’s speech, I suddenly understood that when a person makes a decision that a child might be conceived, the obligation begins with them and not the child. But actually, I said all this in order to tell the story of the birth of my first daughter.
Towards the end of the nine months, I was frequently speaking to my daughter and calling her by her name often. After all, it wasn’t too soon for her to get to know her daddy.
As she was being born, I could first see her hair. I was touched and amazed. Regardless of all the conversations she and I had had (which were a bit one-sided), I still could not believe that she was really going to be here. After she had been cleaned and had this little pink wool cap placed her head, a strange event occurred.
There had been many not so easy times for my wife, so I felt that the least I could do was to make certain that she was comfortable. In addition, I found that because of these trials, my devotion and love had grown stronger towards her over the past year but that's a story for another time.
I have always found it difficult to understand how any guy can just walk away from the life that he has helped to create. Whether by accident (yeah, right) or planned out to the last detail, once a child is conceived, it’s the responsibility of both parents (especially the father) to ensure that the kid has every chance for a happy life. At least that’s what I’ve always believed.