JTMG Celebrating Black Fatherhood: Paul Felts Jr.
First off, let me wish all the fathers out there a Happy Father’s Day, I hope the day is filled with all the things you like to do.
It is only fitting that I finish the JTMG Celebrating Black Fatherhood series with the father of my children, my husband, Paul Felts Jr.
I started the series with him, but that was more from my point of view, but I really wanted to have his voice apart of the conversation.
When I was coming up, my aunt told me something that stuck with me, she said, “that a real father doesn’t need a white man in a black robe to tell him to take care of his children. A good father is willing to provide for his children no matter what.” From that moment on, I knew that if I ever had children it was going to be with a man was willing to provide for his children no matter what. A good father doesn’t need to be told his baby need pampers and milk, or that his child grew out of their shoes. He expects these things and the many other essential needs of his children, then he set out to provide the things they need.
From the very start, Paul worked hard to provide.
When I found out I was going to have my daughter we were scared, such a huge task placed at our feet. And we weren’t exactly where we wanted to be in life to be bringing a child in the world. We lived in a hole in the wall, dump, not suitable for anyone in their right mind, let alone a baby. I was in college full-time and working part-time, Paul was working full-time, third shift, so we really just slept there. We knew we had to move, things seem impossible at first, all the money we were making was going to food and shelter, there was nothing left for savings. Paul went to the landlord of our building and got him a job as the building’s maintenance person, the landlord wasn’t even looking for a maintenance person, but by the time Paul got finishing telling him why he needed to take half off our rent, the landlord cleaning the common areas, sweep and mopping hallways and handling the building’s garbage. The vile disgusting-ness that he’d seen, but he did it because he had to provide safe shelter for the child he had on the way.
Just like that we were able to start saving for our move. Paul took on extra shifts along with maintaining the building. I was presented with the opportunity to take a management position at my job before I knew I was pregnant, I decide to take it once I knew. So I left school and worked full time. In less than nine months we had saved enough money for rent, security, and the things you need for a newborn.
Paul had accepted the task of being a father and understood his role as provider.
When holding our daughter for the first time, he says he loved her instantly and immeasurably. “I knew I was going to take care of her for the rest of my life.” Our boys he says the love he felt was the same, but it was different with the boys because he could share more of his “manly side” with them.
It is so fun to watch the three male in my household do things together. They love taking trips to Best Buy. It’s just something about electronic, the men in my house love electronics. It’s nothing for Paul to tell me they’re off to Best Buy for nothing in particular, just because one of the boys wanted to go. Hey, to the boys they’re just going to Best Buy, but to Paul, he is providing them with quality time to talk about things they might not feel comfortable talking to me about.
Paul loves talking with our children, he says it is his favorite thing to do with our children.
“They have great minds and a great sense of humor. I love hearing their views on the world around them. I learn something new from them all the time.”
He says that fatherhood taught him to be patient and the importance of trying to understand where his children are coming from.
“Children today need a lot of guidance, but before you can guide them you first need to understand where they are coming from.
In my house, my husband motto is work hard for what you want, fight hard for what you believe in and use the tools you have right now to get to the next level. He impresses this upon our children. Every day they see him work hard because it’s not about him. It’s about them. It’s about us.
“and about keeping us together,” he says
When people hear the word provider, they often think only of financial support. A provider, a good provider, does more that provide financial support. He provides a safe space for you talk open and freely, he provides guidance through hard and troubled times, he provides a congratulatory pat on the back when you achieve your goals and a swift kick in the ass when you gon’ and lost your damn mind. Fathers provide life lessons that sustain their children’s lives.
I send a special Happy Father’s Day to all the featured fathers. I hope that your word will help shed a better light on Black fatherhood.
If you know a good Black father make today special for him if you can. It does have to be anything big, just something to show him that he is appreciated.
May God be with you until we meet again.