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I undeniably love my kids and pride myself in making sure they know it. They are a blessing. My father used to tell me: “Be a stand-up guy. Be accountable. Your word is everything. Be kind and treat everyone special because everyone is special.”
I had a single-parent household and I remember that we always got by but we never got over – meaning we always had enough to eat but I was always aware of the hard work it took. It made me thankful. Watching my mother work tirelessly to make sure her kids had [what they needed] made me want to make her load lighter. That’s why I work so hard. I want to make my parents proud. I felt like it was on me to be great because my mom and dad sacrificed so we could have a chance at a better life. My father was homeless for two years, sleeping in his car and he never told us. He protected us. When he finally told us what he’d been through I was that much more proud of him. As a matter of fact, he said the song “Keep On Moving” by Soul II Soul inspired him.
I would tell new fathers …
- Quality time is more important than money. Spend as much time as you can. By paying close attention you’ll learn so much.
- Let your children know that you love them tremendously. The security of knowing that they can count on you is priceless.
- Build a relationship with your kids that is so solid nothing can come between it.
I want to tell my father thank you for teaching me how to be a man, for showing me the right way. He could have given up. I thank him for being there for us and sticking it out and not leaving/running from his responsibilities. In a lot of ways his shortcomings made me stronger and it made me want to be there for my children even more.
Ricky Moore, Jr. is the founder of the urban clothing line Nyla Elise.
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