Wishing a Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers holding down fatherhood! But an extra special recognition to my own father, Papa Gem. As I get older, I appreciate my father more and more for all the many things he has done for me and the influential role he has had in my life. Our relationship is far from perfect but I’d argue all parent-child relationships have their benefits and drawbacks.
I will say though, my Dad is a bit of an enigma wrapped in a riddle. And after almost 30years I’m not sure I know exactly who he is lol. But his mysteriousness makes him all the more fascinating and special to me.
That said – I will attempt to describe my favorite things about him, in no particular order…
1. He’s the coolest of the cool kids.
- Just about all of my friends who meet my Dad think he’s the most hilarious and fun guy ever. And not just because he tries to liquor them up on Margaritas and/or rum and cokes. He steals the spot light wherever he goes and increases my cool factor exponentially. But on the flipside…
2. He’s kind of a gangster.
- Let’s just say you don’t want to be on the wrong end of his cane. You will get got.
3. He has very few Fs to give.
- My Dad is that old Black man who just says whatever he wants and dares you to come for him – very #whogoncheckmeboo?! He speaks his mind and is unapologetic about his opinions and outlook. Be it with race, politics, your taste in music, your hair style, he will let you know what’s on his mind. Oddly enough, this is especially apparent when…
4. He wears a murse on occasion
- Or fanny pack, depending on the mood I suppose. He’s not about to be walking around with fat, overstuffed pockets. It’s practical but amusing.
5. He’s low key very thoughtful
- My dad isn’t big on talking on the phone or expressing his feelings but he finds ways to show he’s thinking of people. And it’s usually unexpected, making it all the more awww-inducing. Be it a hand written note, a text message (that undoubtedly took him 10min to draft for less than 100 characters), or an email – usually detailing some fact he learned that pertains to my work or city of residence – he shows me I’m on his mind in his own way.
6. He’s generous.
- He gives in his time and resources to me and countless others. He freely shares his knowledge and wisdom (and unsolicited opinions lol). He has a lot to offer and he offers it readily.
7. He’s a nerd.
- Pops is intelligent and scholarly, always seeking more knowledge and constantly challenging himself and others to think critically. He reads physics and differential equations books just for fun. He creates mathematical “theories” just to pass the time.
8. He’s a great story teller.
- My mom and I have probably heard the same stories 1 thousand times over, and yet he tells the story almost identically every time, complete with animated expressions and vocal inflections. It’s a gift. I want to get him on film one day. Speaking of film…
9. He’s amazingly creative.
- My dad is a great musician and artist (drawing/painting). He used to make video cartoons for me, using various items (my coloring supplies, McDonald’s happy meal toys, my siblings). He even served as my personal illustrator for my grade school projects (shhhh don’t tell my teachers).
10. He hates rap.
- And he is constantly letting me know how much he hates it and that it’s rotting my brain. For some reason, I find this terribly endearing and comforting. We are so much alike in so many ways but this is the one thing we can emphatically not find common ground on. And it makes me smile.
All in all, my Dad is unlike any other person I know. As I said, he’s an enigma wrapped in a riddle. He’s a sh*t talking OG who doesn’t GAF that has a murse and does nerd sh*t after work hours. He’s an unlikely combination of so many different traits and interests. My Dad is really one of a kind and all the things listed above make him so super to me. Papa Gem is just the biznass. Period.
What are some things you love most about your Dad (or whatever male figure that helped raise you)?
From a loving and adoring daughter,
11. He loves Beyonce He probably wouldn’t recognize a Bey song if she sang “This be Bey!” over and over, but he rides for her regardless. And I approve.