In my earlier post I spoke about the start of my love for Black men and how my father was the cultivating factor in that revelation. Let me take you to the time where the lyrics “I want my husband to be just like my Daddy” from Beyonce’s song and ode to her father entitled ‘Daddy‘ was the soundtrack to my life. It was a Thursday night in September of 2006. I was a new single mother of a 3-week old baby girl. Coming home at 10PM with my baby in her carrier, overloaded diaper bag in one hand, shoes in my other hand, and my mail from my mailbox in my mouth.
As I headed towards the stairs two gentlemen walked by me, but I was too busy with my juggling act to truly notice them. I sped up the stairs as fast as I could. As I approached my door, I placed everything including my baby down to retrieve my keys, one of the gentlemen that I passed a few moments before stopped at my door. Speaking in a deep baritone that caught me off guard: “Excuse me, I don’t mean to bother you, but can I call you sometime? I was actually going to help you, but you hustled up the stairs so fast.” He let out a chuckle as finished. I told him yes and proceeded to give him my number. He started to walk away, then he turned back to me as I opened my door:
“Can I come by a little later and talk to you”? (The nerve of him!) “Sorry, I need to put my baby to bed, but you can call me.” I replied. He nodded with a smile: “I understand. I’m a single father too”. He walked away without seeing my eyeroll. I wasn’t buying that bull.
One hour later my phone rang and it was Craig–the gentleman that I just met. That night we spent hours on the phone. Which became a daily routine over the next week after our initial encounter. Two weeks after our introduction, I had an appointment to take my daughter to get her first professional pictures taken at Olan Mills Studio inside of Kmart. Craig agreed to meet me there and afterwards. We went to a Mexican food restaurant as our first official date. Yes, my daughter was on our first date (let the brownie point collecting begin!).
While on this date, my baby girl was cutting up. She wouldn’t let me put her down! She wasn’t hungry, wet, or sleepy. She was just being a hater! Okay, maybe she was being a typical newborn in a foreign environment much louder than her normal one. I couldn’t take a bite of my food without her wailing! Craig could see the frustration on my face and put his hands out for me to hand her over to him so I could eat my food. I placed her in his arms and she calmed down instantly! I was amazed. We finished lunch, parted ways, and I blushed my entire drive home.
Over the next few weeks, Craig and I continued our lengthy conversations. I was able to confirm that he indeed was a single father. Now, here is where that Beyonce song element came in to play. When I speak of my Daddy/Father I am speaking on my stepfather that raised me as if i was his own. So, here I have met a man that has full custody of his 3 children from his former marriage; their mother resides in another state.
Are y’all ready for this?
When my mother met my stepfather, he had 50% custody of his 3 kids from his former marriage and their mother also resided in the same state as Craig’s ex. Are you guys still following me so far?
Craig is a man that works with his hands and can build anything. Guess who else has that skill? Yep, my Dad! The ultimate stamp was when we had a cookout at my parents’ house. My family and friends were meeting Craig for the first time and quite a few of them stated how Craig and my Dad favored!
Still racking up brownie points, Craig took my daughter to every doctor’s appointment until she was 18 months (Mommy couldn’t handle seeing her get her shots). Daily he fed, clothed, provided, protected, encouraged and most definitely showered her with love and affection. I returned those same attributes to his children.
Our relationship lasted for 4 years. Albeit those 4 years were rocky, but great at the same time.
During the first year of our relationship, we made a promise that we would never be out of each others kids lives no matter what. In June 2010, after 4 years of make-up to breakups, we finally decided to end our relationship for good. Six months into our permanent breakup I was in a dark and bitter place. I told him that I didn’t want to see his kids anymore and he couldn’t see my daughter. After 1 month, he called me. Craig told me that he couldn’t sleep; that he needed my daughter (‘his’ daughter) back in his life. I felt the same about his children.
Nine years later, we are still in each other’s lives. We both have moved on to other relationships, yet our bond is still there. In the past 13 years, I have needed and called on him more times than I can count. Each time, he has been there without hesitation.
I may curse him out for being a procrastinator. He is always late and it drives me bananas. He is horrible at answering his phone and replying to text messages. His famous line is, “I called you back in my mind.” Or “I responded to you in my mind”.
His disorganization triggers my anxiety.
His corny jokes makes me roll my eyes harder than I did the first night I met him.
Yet, I will accept all of that and more from him. Even with all of those flaws, they come attached to man that will work 14 hour days for 21 days straight to make it happen for his family. A man that was willing to sell his work truck to pay my rent. A man that will breakup with any woman that does not accept my daughter and me as a part of his life. A man that will put his own mother in check for disrespecting me. A man that I recently had to call at 1:30 AM with a crisis and he said “Okay, no problem.” Then was there to solve it!
My name is not Lois Lane and he isn’t from Krypton, but he has and still is my Superman!
[images from author’s album/gallery]