If you know me at even the very least and you read the title to this entry. You probably had a thought of disbelief. Yes ladies and gentlemen, this was allegedly the case. For the people who may be reading this post that have known me before and at the time my first son was born. These individuals have come to know me to be a really involved father. To these individuals, this may come to be a shock of sorts. Well you are not alone because it was a shock to me as well.
It all started on during a field trip with my son’s school at the time. I was chaperoning as I normally did on these occasions. While on the bus. A mother of one of the students, whom was also chaperoning, decided to approach me and strike up a conversation. It started off with her being surprised that I was taking the time to accompany the school on this trip. To which I responded with the reason for her surprise was due to the fact that this was her first field trip with the students as her husband was the one who usually came on the trips with us. She then proceeds to tell me how she knew that I was not really involved in my son’s life and that I shouldn’t have any custodial rights. In all honesty, my first instinct was to cuss her out in front of all the children, teachers, staff, parents and surrounding vehicles
This belief of me being an uninvolved parent was not just this woman’s opinion. It was believed by quite a few people.
but I didn’t. Evidently she missed my acknowledgement of how I go on all the field trips and was often at the school supporting the teachers and staff as well as walked the campus as a security measure for the institution. So I tightened my lips and turned my head ever so slightly to display my disgust with her accusations. I didn’t have to explain myself to her or anybody.
This belief of me being an uninvolved parent was not just this woman’s opinion. It was believed by quite a few people. Now the thing that I didn’t mention about the person that shared their sentiment in the previous paragraph, was that I knew her and her husband for about 8 years at this time. The other folk who participated in this myth, I’ve know for that amount of time or even longer. I guess the knowing was a one way street because they should have known me and how I am when it comes to my kid(s).
In another instance. A counselor exclaimed how she understood me to be a neglectful father. When this individual shared this with me. I laughed in their face. They in turn expressed to me how this was no laughing matter and the serious repercussions and consequences that could occur if this was found to be indeed true. She notified me that she had talked to several associates and would be going to my son’s school to talk with the people there. The following day she visits me at my place of business to tell me that she went to the school and spoke with several of the school officials. She then said to her surprise they told her “…Mr. Nicholson was just recently awarded MOST INVOLVED PARENT OF THE YEAR at our school. He’s here practically every week helping out…” to which I replied “That is why I laughed in your face😂.”
Sometimes you hear or read things and believe what you read or hear at first. We’ve been bombarded with the narrative of how fathers and black fathers in particular, are not involved in their kids lives, are deadbeat dads, are not existent etc. So much so that we began to believe it without investigating. That’s what happened to with the mother on the field trip and the other people that knew me for years. They believed what sounded good due to hearing the repetitive commentary of deadbeat/father neglect in spite of what they saw with their eyes. What happened to the folks that spouted this crazy nonsense? They came around and apologized for their accusations but by then. It did not really matter to me, for their value was lessened in my life for their initial belief.