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Sunday, June 19, 2011

The "Black" Dad Stand In

These days my son has been spending a lot of time over by my Mother;s place. Which means he's spending more time with other family members like my uncle, who's his great uncle. Recently my uncle told me about something very strange that Daniel has started doing. For some reason only known to him, Daniel has started calling my uncle Daddy.

black dad fathers day
black dad fathers day

At first I thought it was just a misunderstanding. Maybe he was trying to say another word and it came out as Daddy. Nope. My son was clearly calling my uncle his daddy. Now you should know that my uncle is as dark as I am but it doesn't seem to matter to Daniel.

As if that wasn't bad enough I noticed Daniel started calling ANY dark skin man daddy. At first I wasn't sure so I started testing him while were outside. I'd point to a light skin man and ask who's that. Daniel would say boy or something related. Then I'd point to a dark skin man and Daniel would say daddy.

*scratching my head*

black dad fathers day

I couldn't figure out why all the dark skinned guys were daddy to him. Could it be because I (mommy) am dark skinned? Come to think of it most of my family is also. So did he just associate dark black people as family and now a dark skinned black men are daddies? Maybe but still that didn't explain why he started now and why based on skin-tone.

My son knows what he's Father looks like, I've shown him photos and explained that's his daddy. While he calls these dark skinned men daddy, it seems it's just a title. He doesn't seem to think of them as directly his daddy. He seemed to understand but still......

black dad fathers day
black dad fathers day

So I started thinking of all the men in his life that can have a direct impact on him. Oddly most of them are black. From my Uncles to my son's Godfather. All black.

black dad fathers day
black dad fathers day

Heck even those guys I know from the internet or in the neighborhood that try and take on a Father's type role with my son are black. Yes there's some Asian and Spanish guys who try to sneak in but mostly the black men hold it down with my son.

I thought that was funny. As I sit here this 3rd Father's Day of my son's life without his real Dad, I'm so grateful that I found men who look past all racial boundaries and embrace a little boy trying to find his way to male-hood. It really wasn't many intention to put the image of a "black" daddy into my son's mind but there it is....



JustMsMia says:
at: June 22, 2011 at 4:05 PM said...

Interesting twist on the absentee black male role model myth. I am glad Daniel has positive male figures of any/many colors in his life. When my late niece was a baby, I spent so much time with her she called my a hyphenated version of my name with Ma as the first syllable. Most likely it is just a lable to Daniel. He's saying dark skinned men look like your uncle to him, whom he calls "Daddy"
It's an interesting but innocent sweet gesture. We get love and nurturing from more than just our biological sources. Good for baby boy for recognizing good strong paternal energy in your Uncle.

MsXpat says:
at: June 22, 2011 at 4:57 PM said...

I still feel like a mom in training. My son is 7mths old, but I think that while all children respond to warmth and love, for children from a mixed race relationship, they seem to sometimes to connect those feelings the 'group(s)' that makes them feel that way.

Lovely post :0)

at: June 22, 2011 at 10:30 PM said...

@JustMsMia I don't see how Nikki's story regates or renders " the absentee black male role model [a] myth."
Absent black male father's as well as black male role models are very much a reality.

Viajera says:
at: July 3, 2011 at 5:43 AM said...

Really happy to see that he has such strong, present role models. A little guy to be envied. :)