Short Notes: The Shadow of a Father

Jose Vilson Short Notes

Absent Father

Absent Father

A few notes:

  • Ladies and gents, my nomination’s officially in for the 2009 Black Weblog Awards. Would you please consider my blog for any of the four categories I’m nominated in? Thanks a million.
  • Wait, how many days do we have left in the school year? Is that right? 5!? And I’m going where? To Orlando? Jamaica? Miami (maybe)? Wow, that’s a lot of places to be at. Well done, Jose. Well done.
  • If, on the same day you receive your brand-new Macbook Pro, you hear that its price dropped a few hundred dollars, wouldn’t you be fuming? Fortunately for those of us who fit in that category, there’s a thing called price protection. If you fall into that category, call 800-MY-APPLE and ask for that money back. It’s valid within 30 days of purchase.
  • Some topics I plan to explore this week include how political education can get, what happens when you don’t care about children, and that dreaded last day of school (and by dreaded, I mean AWESOME!!!). Plus, I might have my first video up this week. Nice.

My Fathers’ Day celebrations have been sparse and uncomfortable. Lately, I’ve contemplated the various father figues I’ve had and the ones I wish I had where the people who were supposed to fill those roles didn’t. My father was out there somewhere, making sporadic visits to NYC maybe once a year, and at times, none at all. My stepfather couldn’t stand me 90% of the time, and I forgive, but won’t forget some of the things I’ve had to endure because of him.

I never liked Bill Cosby because for a dude like me, he wasn’t realistic, or so I thought. I liked Phillip Banks of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air more for his personality and he struck me as a more realistic father, but his situation was far too distant for me to relate. Roc Emerson from Roc the TV series was as realistic as they get, but his TV series was short-lived. Fr. Jack, my middle school principal from Nativity, was a father figure for so many of us in that school, and that lasted all of 2 years. Every friend I had picked an NBA player to admire, and naturally, mine was Patrick Ewing. Yet, he was an NBA player, not a father, and dude had his own kids. He was merely a wish, and one that only looked green from this side of things.

That goes for a lot of the other men who whisked through my life and mentored me when I needed it. Now I’m at a point where I look at myself as a father to my students (in a sense), and in some ways, a father in training. Every so often, I still sing “Dance With My Father” by Luther Vandross, humming words I can never really relate to, but hoping I’d be able to provide that feeling to someone someday. Someday.

Jose, who wishes all the fathers out there a Happy Fathers’ Day, wherever you may be …