Learning To Be A Good Father

Published: June 19, 2016, Jamaica Gleaner

Today we celebrate Father's Day. While socks and ties will reign supreme in the gift-giving department, it's really a day to say, 'thank you, dad'. To kick-off our special Father's Day issue, contributor Natalia Oh sat down with Dwight Pinnock as he shared his story of growing up without a father and explains how he used that experience to help him become a better father. Happy Father's Day, all!

I would compare fatherhood to watching a movie about a fairy tale. Fatherhood was not something I observed as a child, it wasn't a reality, for myself and my twin brother, or our friends.

I met my father when I was 13 years old in a bar near my community of Rae Town. My mother was a woman of few words -what you didn't need to know for your survival, was not shared, and I trusted if she had something to share, it would be said. I guess this left more confusion than anything else, surrounding what a father should be.

At that first meeting, I remembered walking into the bar full of strangers, one of whom was the man who called me 'son' that day.

My mother introduced us and he ordered two soft drinks for us. It seemed special to me because they were in a glass bottle and it was something my mother would have never spent her small wage on.

Was this it? This was what having a father was? A soft drink in a bar every 13 years of your life? I was not angry, I was just missing so much information regarding what I was supposed to expect of a father. We walked home that night, little words spoken and went back to what we knew.