This 13th week has been quite a good and challenging one. For starters, we were still on the hunt for a new place after getting turned down for a place we both really wanted. It was around the corner from the grocery, the bank, a park and the bus. And if you’re like me always factoring the best and worst case scenarios, then you already know that this spot was it! And for $1200/mth the price was in our budget. But I will come back to the housing situation later. This week also brought car hunting again since our BMW decided to spontaneously combust last weekend while we were out getting ice cream. Even with a rental car in hand, the pressure of supporting my lady, finding a home, finding a quality vehicle, doing good on the job, holding down the Black Caucus and actually not snapping off on the guy that decided my AirMax 2012’s were stepping stones, was mounting.

This is one of the realities of fatherhood that hit me. The pressures and issues will always come. It’s how we handle them that defines us as men or as boys. Truthfully, since finding out that fatherhood is en route, I’ve ran through almost two bottles of vodka and enough Manhattans to make me think I was strolling down W. 21st. It all helped to calm my nerves after the visits to the ER, the exploding V12, the foolish thought that I can still take three classes this semester, the delayed health benefits fiasco and the denial of getting into that home for my family. For some reason, all of those things are much heavier knowing that a baby is on the way. I’ve handled many crisis over the years and never felt so weighed down at times as I have the last 3 months.

But I know what kind of a man that I am and quitting, walking away, cheating or become a raging alcoholic aren’t options for me. I’m making good progress because I haven’t gone out and purchased any bottles to keep a stock up in the house nor have I hit up a bar recently. I was rattled for a bit but now I’m back to center. We are shopping for a new ride later today and just yesterday, God blessed us with an amazing new and very cost effective apartment that we acquire in April! I cant stress enough how important it is to manage money openly and together and to have discussions on money weekly. I could not stop giving him thanks and I told Monique several times that I feel lighter. Once again God showed up to reinforce his word. Also yesterday, I turned down a request to be Treasurer of the Democratic Party of Oregon. It was a position I could have easily taken and it would have been a great accomplishment for African Americans in Oregon politics. I turned it down because like Aerosmith said, “I don’t wanna miss a thing”. Being present and accounted for during this time is too important to me and I’m taking back as much time as I can, turning down new commitments and streamlining current ones.

Nothing, I repeat, nothing matters more than being there to support my queen and our blessing to come. There will be relationships with both friends and family that will be tested. The decisions you and your queen make together and individually may be questioned and challenged. You may be criticized for following and not following advice or doing things traditionally or non-traditionally. Remember that none of it matters. You might be surprised or even disappointed in people and you might get over it faster than they will. Just remember that the most important person that you need to please is the woman carrying your child. I’m not saying to dismiss or disregard what others will say or suggest. I’m the type of person that has always gone to the edge of the Earth for my family and friends. But let me be clear, the lives and feelings of family and friends are no longer my priority. My priority is my queen, my unborn child, our home, assets, our present and future spiritual, emotional, mental, physical and financial state, our careers and marketplace positions. And my good man, it would be wise for you to think the same. Good family will tell you how they feel and understand and respect your choices. Good friends will let you have it, as they should, and will respect your choices as well. The great friends knew some craziness was coming eventually and they still love you because they understand the change that is taking place in your life. In the end, the takeaway is this, I am saying to make the choices that work best for you, your queen and your new addition to the family and do so unapologetically.

I’m looking forward to week 14. One major hurdle called housing is secured and a ton of money has been saved. Hopefully the car situation will end this week as well and two of my biggest concerns will be handled. I might just toast to that 😉



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