I just witnessed my son’s taking his first steps. He stumbled and fell on the first few attempts. Then suddenly, he stood, balanced himself, and managed to wobble across the floor. As he walked and giggled, my heart filled with joy and trepidation.
My son will take many more steps in his life. I will get to witness some of them such as when he walks across the stage for graduations or when he walks down the aisle at his wedding. However, many of the steps that he takes will be on his own. And quite frankly that frightens me.
The roads of life can be quite perilous for an African-American male. There are many detours and side paths that can lead to destruction. The path to righteousness is narrow and sometimes difficult to navigate. But I take comfort in the fact, that I made it. And if I can make it, I can surely guide my son on his journey.
One of the books that I love is Alice in Wonderland, and the following quote from the story is one of my favorites:
Alice came to a fork in the road. “Which road do I take?” she asked.
“Where do you want to go?” responded the Cheshire cat.
“I don’t know,” Alice answered.
“Then,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.”
Too many young men are stumbling through life with no direction or purpose. When they reach crucial decision points, they often choose the wrong road. Through my teaching and example, I plan to prepare my son for the moments when he reaches those forks in the road so he will confidently know where he wants to go.
I’m sure that he will stumble and fall many times during his life. But if I do my job right, his roads will be a lot less bumpy than mine were, and he will have the confidence to keep on walking despite the obstacles. And that’s all any father can hope for.