The next day I received a phone call from my son’s father. He joked about the expression I probably had on my face, as well as the conversation he had with our son. Although I wasn’t expecting a pat on the back from him, I appreciated that he was supportive and encouraging. He didn’t go into detail about the talk he had with the kid, but I’m sure it was a lot more specific than the one I had with him.
Today my son is a 14-year-old high school freshman. The same openness he displayed at 11 is still there, and I’m grateful for that. We’ve had conversations about girls and the best ways to approach and respect them. I stress the fact that being a gentleman 24-7 is important, but so is being able to determine whether a girl is right for him.
As I look at him growing into more of a man, I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished so far. I truly hope that the openness that my son and I share is something that will always remain. I may not be able to properly throw a football or relate to the physical changes he’s going through, but I will definitely instill in him the common courtesies that all people need to extend in order to be successful adults, whether they’re male or female. I’m also instilling in him that women like the toilet seat left down. After all, it’s the simple things that count.
Yesha Callahan is a full-time writer and single mother living in Columbia, Md. She has written for BlogHer, Jezebel and The Grio and has been seen on HuffPost Live and TV One’s NewsOne Now With Roland Martin. She is currently the managing editor of Clutch magazine and is a former comedy and politics writer for BET’s Don’t Sleep! Hosted by T.J. Holmes.