Brayden watching the USM Golden Eagles practice
Every daddy is NOT a FATHER. The term FATHER carries prestige, which requires responsibility and accountability. I am one that can say that I have a FATHER who represents every aspect of the word and is my role model for how I raise my son. Any person that creates life is a daddy, but those special ones who nurture it are FATHERS. In many cases, the FATHER that nurtures is not always the daddy that created, but nonetheless they are FATHERS. Our Heavenly FATHER provides us with examples of how we are to be with the children that He entrusts to us in the way that He loves us. He protects us (II Samuel 7:9), provides for us (II Samuel 7:10), offers guidance (Proverbs 11:14), as well as, administers correction when needed (Proverbs 15:10). He gives us unconditional love as a blueprint for us natural FATHERS to follow. During summer breaks while in school my FATHER would find odd jobs for us to do in order to teach me how to work and how to value a dollar. He generally ended up giving me the majority of the money because his main purpose was to teach me to how to work for a living, the value of hard work, and to do all that I can for myself. Most of my peers would say that I was spoiled growing up, but I beg to differ. I worked for everything I got. I had to spend my summer days roofing, doing remodeling work, cutting grass, etc to get the things I wanted. From these experiences I gained the will to work in order to be self sufficient, and now to provide for my son. I also remember my FATHER and I traveling through bad weather when our vehicle hydroplaned across the median of the interstate, but by the the grace of God we barely missed the 18-wheeler that we were on a collision course with. Because the incident happened so fast I think I forgot to become afraid (LOL) but one thing still stands out as clear as day to me; my FATHER reaching across the vehicle to shelter me from any potential danger that would lie ahead. He showed that he valued my life more than his own. That love was instilled in me that moment and I carry it with me now towards my own son.Yet, even though he loved me enough to shield me from any harm that could have resulted from an accident, he has purposefully administered some pain as well.... yeah I have gotten a few whoopings.... and yeah I mean whoopings, not whippings. On October 1, 2010 a 6 lb, 11oz, 21-inch boy named Brayden Makhi Massey was entrusted to me to protect, provide for, guide, and chastise when necessary. I remember the day like it was yesterday. I received a call around 11p.m. from his mother telling me that she was going into labor and was headed to the hospital. I sat in the room drinking coffee to keep from dozing off until the contractions became more frequent, and Folgers was no longer needed. Around 5 a.m. I, along with his grandmother, great grandmother and great GRANDFATHER, stood watching the birth of my son. Though I was too nervous to cut the umbilical cord (LOL) I did put on his first diaper and took the first picture holding him. I fell in love at that very moment and vowed that I would do everything in my power to ensure his safety and that all of his needs were met just as my father has done throughout my life. Likewise, Brayden has gotten his hand popped a time or two for being disobedient. I do it because I love him and do not want anything to negative to happen to him that I can steer him away from. It takes a FATHER to teach a boy to become a man, and I was blessed to see many faults within myself before he was ever born and had a chance to correct them. Whether you believe it or not, parents are their children's biggest role models. Now I face the battle of breaking him from being a "mama's boy." I love that fact that he loves his mother but also understand that a boy must grow up and toughen up. It is my duty to show him how to be a gentleman and treat women with respect. I also want a little girl later in life and then it will be my duty to provide her with an example of the type of gentleman she should look for. It takes a special man to be a FATHER and I embrace it more and more everyday. I hope more men will step up to the plate and be the influence that every child needs and be deemed worthy of being called a FATHER. I am a FATHER.

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