Letter to My Son on His 18th Birthday

GER-II (2014) reMy son, my dear, wonderful son,

Thou art favorable in my eyes and in my heart.
Thou art the greatest joy in my life.
I am and always have been, well pleased.

From the day you were conceived, I loved you.
For each and every day you were being formed in your mother’s womb, I loved you.
I spoke to you in love…there.
I sang to you in love…there.
I played all kinds of music for you to hear…there.
Not a day passed when I did not have thoughts of what you would be like the moment you entered the world and what you would accomplish in life.

On that Wonderful Day, March 22nd, a bitterly cold Friday in Halifax, Nova Scotia, you kept your mother in eleven hours of labor in that CanGrace Maternity Hospital, Halifax, NSadian hospital. Yet there was little worry for I was by her side – and in effect, by your side too. I wanted to help to make sure your entry into the world would be as smooth and comfortable as any birth could possibly be. I was always confident of that fact, for during those thirty-nine weeks of preparation I made it my priority to ensure that you and your mother got the very best of attention and care. Your mother and I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the wonderful Dr. Barbara Parish and her staff at Grace Maternity Hospital for their continuous attention, patience and awesome professional service.

I stood opposite of Dr. Parish at the point of your entry; ready to cut the feeding cord that would be the first of two things from your mother that I would sever you from in your young lifetime. That second planned cut – the proverbial “apron strings” – aka, that too-close-to-your-mother characteristic which many fathers fear of their sons, thankfully was never formed. Like a true alpha male you easily came to develop your own sense of respectful and respected identity and attitudes and developed a proper and equal relationship balance with both your parents. However, as your proud and loving father, mentor, teacher and primary disciplinarian, I rightfully and selfishly claim credit for helping you achieve that sense of identity as I guided you through various male rites of passage in preparation for this first day of your manhood and the many days to follow in your life.

GER-II (age 14)At 1:39 pm AST (Atlantic Standard Time) /12:39 pm EST (Eastern Standard Time) you entered the world. Dr. Parish pointed to where I should cut the umbilical cord. Once I did that, a nurse took you over to a nearby warming table where you were cleaned up, checked and weighed (6 lbs, 9 oz) before being wrapped in a warm, pale blue blanket. Another nurse gently handed you over to me.

I held you ever so gently in my arms, son; our eyes meeting for the first time. You were looking up at me and I looked down upon you with a father’s love as I shed tears of joy; my love for you had completely overwhelmed me. At that moment I had all certainty that our bond as father and son was sealed.

I gave you a strong masculine name – my name, Gerald Edward: the first meaning, rule of the spear, the second meaning rich, wealthy or prosperous. I made sure that everyone in Me and G (2009)the room knew your official name would forever be “Gerald Edward Robinson II” before I kissed you and thanked whatever gods there were to have blessed your mother and me with such a beautiful, whole and healthy creature. You were my first-born. I could not possibly know at the time that you would have no siblings. It is something which I have always regretted. Still, it simply felt right to give you, the first-born, my name.

I handed you over to your mother, who though weary from her laborious delivery, had a renewed look of energy and joy on her face. She too looked down upon you with the love that only a mother can have for her child. G, your mother and I were two happy, grateful, proud and loving parents at that moment – just as we have always been and always will be even though she and I are no longer together.

Son, I could go on and on writing your life’s story – from a father’s perspective, in this blog article but that would take me the rest of the day and this article would never be finished and published. Therefore, I’ll close with these final words:

My son, G in action-2 (2011)Gerald, you are one of the best sons any man – or woman would be proud to have for a son! You are blessed beyond measure and many people who know you and who have come to know you, see that! Your mother and I know people who envy us for having a son like you. It is important for you to know that unlike many other parents – loving as they may be for their children, your mother and I have never felt the need or desire to brag or boast about you or your accomplishments. Perhaps that’s because she and I are simply humble people individually and together, we are humble parents who have never taken you or our blessing as your parents, for granted. Never. Trust me, G; we know we are blessed and we are thankful for having the divine privilege to have you in our lives and the ability and means to raise such a very fine young man like you.

I love you very much, son! Through good times and not-so-good times between us as father and son, you always fill my heart with joy and put a smile on my face. Of course, like any father and son we are no different in having a few disputes or conflicts between us. That’s simply natural and expected. In fact, I believe that helps us both to grow and it strengthens our already-wonderful and healthy relationship! Besides son, if you remember me always saying, “You can’t help yourself, son” you’ll know that your father – while sometimes stern and direct, is also loving, GER-II (2014) -2 (re)understanding and patient with you. And just because you don’t see me smiling in those conflictive moments, you should know with the fullest confidence that I’m still smiling inside because of the love I have for you and the father’s pride I feel for you; such feelings will never diminish or be extinguished. I am blessed and happy to not only be your father but your dad. My desire is to always be there whenever and however you may need me.

On this very special day – and with every day that follows in your life – just as I’ve wanted for you since before the day you were born, may there be safety, good health, peace of mind, prosperity, contentment, joy and happiness.

Happiest of Birthdays, my wonderful son! I love you!


Keepin’ It…REAL!

A Father Shows His Son Love – There’s Nothing Wrong Here!

This video of a Thai television show interview with my Philly home boi, actor/rapper Will Smith and his Will Smith, son Jaden, 'After Earth' promoson, actor Jaden Smith (promoting their recently released movie After Earth) has hit the web and created senseless controversy simply because Smith showed some love to his beloved son in a manner deemed “inappropriate” by some people. It’s bad enough that certain ugly rumors about Will Smith and his family have existed for some time, but to read more bullshit comments on You Tube and Facebook prompted me to post the video and give my take on exactly what it is that I saw in the video.  Now, you take a look at the seven and a half-minute (7:36) video clip then read my comments which follow and tell me if you agree (or not) with my assessment.

As implied, I watched the video. What I saw was a FATHER who loves and is proud of his son. I saw a FATHER who loves to play with his son in a most innocent manner.  I saw a loving SON who understands and LOVES his FATHER in return and who, by his body language, indicated that he knows his father, a man who likes to play and show affection to his children! I saw nothing sexual or inappropriate. In fact, I envy young Jaden for having a father like Will Smith who can show such affection without a care or shame for what others might think! Kudos to my Philadelphia homie!

Myself being a father of a son who is now 17, let me tell all my readers, that I have always shown – and I continue to show, my son great affection – unashamedly, ever since the day he was born. Have I ever kissed my son? Yes, of course…dozens of times! I can’t recall if I ever kissed him on the lips, but even if I did – and it’s very likely that I have at one time or another, it certainly wasn’t sexual! And so what if I kissed him or kissed him on the lips?  I LOVE MY SON… more than I love anything or anyone else!

Other than the natural strong love and bond I feel for my son, there is one other important reason I tend to show such affection to he – my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased who is my pride and joy: neither my biological father or my foster-father ever showed me ANY affection of love whatsoever;  neither had ever said they loved me!  I certainly would have remembered if either of those men did.

When I leave this plane of existence, my son will know – without any shadow of doubt, that I LOVED him. My son will always remember me telling him that I love him and that I am proud of him because I say it to him so often! My son will know that I was never ashamed to say the words, “I love you, son...“; words he’s heard me say clear and direct as I looked him in the eye or surprised him with such words in a phone text each week, and that I have never hesitated to demonstrate such sentiments of love and affection to him.

Society needs more men – particularly BLACK MEN like me, Will Smith and some others I know who have sons, who are NEVER ashamed to show such affection or express love to their sons. Society also needs to abandon this sick, twisted idea that fathers or father-figures – be they straight, bisexual or gay, who show their sons such affection, can somehow hinder or threaten their son’s idea of masculinity. Nothing could be further from the truth!

Check it: Anyone who thinks the kiss in this video from Will Smith to his son Jaden was sexual in nature or inappropriate, is either not a father, probably didn’t receive any affection from his own father, is not comfortable with his own masculinity and/or his status as a father and/or doesn’t understand the special love and bond that a FATHER can have for his son.
On that note, I say again, “Kudos, Will Smith!

Keepin’ It…REAL!

Happy Birthday to My Son!

HAPPIEST OF BIRTHDAYS to you, my wonderful son!

You were born this date and day – Friday, March 22, 1996, seventeen years ago, at 12:39pm EDT/1:39pm ADT (Atlantic Daylight Time) in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I will never forget the day or time because I remember looking at my watch the very moment you entered the world. I don’t think anyone but me remembers the exact time of your birth.

I was there, son: to cut the cord from your mother, the first to look at you, and the first to hold you in my arms as your beautiful, big brown eyes looked up at me. You barely made a sound as we looked at each other in recognition and awe. I knew then that our bond was good, and would be solid and sealed in God’s love.

One of the most important tasks as your father is to use my experience to prepare and guide you in dealing with the challenges of life, the many prejudices and unpredictable actions of the people in this world, and to show that dignity, integrity, respect and love triumphs over all things. I shall continue in that endeavor as I continue to love you as I have always loved you!

My son, as long as The Creator gives me breath, I shall be here for you.  When my time comes to pass from the physical into the spiritual plane of existence, I shall still be with you. You are my wonderful son, in whom I am deeply proud and well pleased. I am greatly blessed and privileged to be your father.

 May you enjoy this day – which also, is my special day! May all the days of your young charted life continue to bring love, joy, peace, safety and happiness. Have a very happy and wonderful birthday!

 I love you!

~ Dad (201303:22)

Keepin’ It…REAL!

Notes of a PROUD Dad

Like most fathers, I enjoy teaching and sharing my knowledge and/or opinions of things to my son. And, like most fathers, I naturally tend to think such efforts go on the wayside. Yet, there are occasions when I’m happy my son (G) proves me wrong in that thinking. For example yesterday, during a visit with me at work, he and I had some very good discussions about the presidential race and BOTH the Republican and the Democratic National Conventions. Can you believe that? We also discussed Iran and its relations with the world and that country’s desire for nuclear capability. We discussed World War II and how the winners of that war (U.S., Russia, and Britain) divided up the spoils of war. We talked about President FDR’s National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) and how THAT idea or portions of it might be useful to help today’s economy. We discussed the Korean War, and even touched on former presidents Carter and Reagan, among other things, which any stranger in the room would find deeply intriguing! At 16 years old, G often reminds me of the way I was at his age!

I suppose I can take some credit in starting him off right many years ago (and up to the present), when I had with him (what probably seemed to be boring) talks about the things that will affect him as a man, as a Black man, and the things that affect everyone in this world.

My son CONTINUES to make me PROUD! You go G!
Keepin’ It…REAL!