Yesterday I recalled a conversation that my dad and I had last week. Although our relationship was strained during my adolescent years, I’m happy that we were able to grow closer as I moved into adulthood. As I recollected my relationship with my dad, I couldn’t help but think about how things were with my mom.
My relationship with my mother was a lot better than what I had with my father. I’m sure if someone was on the outside looking in they would think that I was a momma’s boy (my brother’s included) but that was hardly the case. I believe that I’m my parent’s favorite child though. As I got older (college mostly) my relationship with my mother began to become strained. This was mostly due to the man she was dating after my parents got divorced (they eventually got married and divorced). Although I was only 20 I felt I was in a position to offer my mother my advice about what was best for her life. That didn’t work out to well and culminated with us falling out and not speaking for close to nine months.
So I have had periods of time in my life where I’ve fallen out with both of my parents. In spite of this I’m glad I was reared in a two-parent household. My childhood left a lot to be desired but my parents did the best they could and provided a life for me that was better than a lot. For some reason I was thinking what if I did grow up in a one-parent home. If I had to go back in time and pick one of my parents which one would i choose.
My dad taught me how to change a tire, wash a car, the meaning of responsibility and respect and he had little intricacies that only a man has when it involves teaching a boy how to be a man. Although I wished for a long time that my dad was more into sports (as most Nigerians he only cared about soccer) because I would have gotten into sports sooner. I didn’t start getting into organized sports until my freshman year of high school. My dad was also a philanderer which is something that I was conscious of growing up.
My mom also taught me the value of hard work and sacrifice. She dropped out or college to raise my brothers and I. She never returned. In Nigeria she was a nurse making a good living but she saw better opportunities here for her future children. My mom taught me how to clean, do my own laundry and cook at a young age so that I would never “have to depend on a woman to take care of me.” I think it was my mother more than my dad who taught who taught me how to be a gentleman. As nice and gentle as my mother is she is also very stubborn and vindictive. This sometimes came across in relations to her children as evidenced by the rift her and my sister had which consummated in them not speaking a single word to each other for four years. Now they’re the best of friends. I think I get my ability to easily cut people off from her.
Both of my parents instilled great qualities in me but they both at times were terrible role models. They’re not perfect but they are my parents and they did the very best job they could. Looking back if my parents reared me separately I might not be the complete person I am today. Not to say that I’m perfect in any stretch of the imagination but I may be lacking in certain personality quirks that make me who I am today.
So in retrospect I don’t know if I could decide between either one of my parents. They made me who I am today, the good and the bad.