The Gentlemen’s Ten – Moments I’m Looking Forward To With My Daughter

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As promised, here is my list of 10 moments that I am looking forward to with the upcoming birth of my daughter. There are so many moments that I can think of, so I have relegated this list to the early years of her childhood. I guess you can say I have a strong paternal instinct, which will only grow stronger throughout the years. And so without further rambling, here you go.

  • Yes, I have reluctantly come to terms with the reality that my eardrums will soon be assaulted by the tender wailing of a newborn at 3:13 in the morning. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to being that calming (hopefully) presence that rocks, bounces, or sings her to sleep. The idea of her curled up and laying peacefully on my chest will be well worth the impending, relentless sobs that will emanate from her tiny lips.
  • Now, you probably did not know that singing was included in my gentlemanly repertoire. Allow me to clarify, I can sing – just not all that great. But to the ears of a newborn, she won’t know the difference between Luther Vandross and an American Idol reject. So, she won’t mind. At least I don’t think she will mind. Nevertheless, with a cracking voice and all, I am fully prepared to belt out Isn’t She Lovely by Stevie Wonder.
  • As long as I can remember, the distinct presence of music has always been around my family. Seriously, music was always playing in my household. My mother would have small house parties where friends would gather for dancing and fun. Even the children (myself and my brother) got to join in the festivities; the music was far cleaner back then, as popular dance music wasn’t raunchy and hip hop hadn’t been pimped into the vulgar monstrosity you are accustomed to today. That is all to state: I love good music. So, I cannot wait for the occasion to arrive when I can come home from work, scoop my daughter up in my arms, turn on some fine tunes – Stevie Wonder will work just fine again – and dance a little jig with her around the living room. Hey, I used to recreate Michael Jackson’s Thriller in my grandmother’s living room, so this gentleman can cut a rug.
  • And speaking of dancing a little jig around the house, here is a little known fact about me: I have a silly side. If you follow me on Twitter or you are a Facebook friend, you would know that I am no stranger to posting something silly or crazy. Don’t allow the seriousness of some of my posts, or my affinity for neckties and pocket squares fool you. I am not as stuffy as my posts may appear. Not at all. However, sometimes a gentleman cannot be as silly as he may want to be, well, not without receiving some form of unwanted judgement. With my daughter, I can lower my guard a little and grant a certain level of self-deprecation to elicit her tiny giggles and smiles. I guess I better start practicing my goofy faces in the mirror.
  • Leaping small (emphasis on small) coffee tables in a single bound, I will decimate any and all bugs that may put a fright into my Little Ms. Palmer. Insects…beware of my size 12 wingtip that will come barreling down upon your soon-to-be-ended existence. Yes, I get to play a superhero. And the same warning applies for the boogeyman, animals small or big, things that go bump in the night, thunder & lightening, and even some people. Please don’t make me go Wolverine berserker on you. You’ve been warned.
  • I fully understand that for the first few years of my daughter’s life, food will be primarily provided by my wife. And shortly thereafter, her meals will consist of baby food. However, when it is time to sufficiently break her into adult food, I am ready to get my Rachael Ray on in the kitchen with a specialty in breakfast. Yes, my blueberry waffles are something serious. So, asking Little Ms. Palmer how many sausage links she wants or how much syrup her waffles will take is something I am definitely looking forward to. Oh, my omelette skills are pretty wicked too.
  • With the arrival of my daughter, the moments that require instruction and education will surely be some of the most cherished. Imparting the wisdom and knowledge that I have acquired over the course of my lifetime to my little one is really going to be something special. Watching her little face as she soaks up all the information that all her little maturing brain can handle, and looking at her wide eyes as she learns something new every day – yes, that is going to be special.
  • I am looking forward to those quiet moments with my daughter. Those moments where we both sit silently on the sofa, perhaps watching a cartoon and just enjoying each other’s company. Her nestled securely under my arm as we just sit. Or, those quiet moments when I am reading softly to her as she drifts off into sleep.
  • Holiday celebrations in my family were always intimately connected with my late  grandmother; everything centered around massive family gatherings at her home. More than the food, more than the gifts exchanged – the entire holiday experience was about the love of family. Unfortunately, after my grandmother passed away in 2007, our family tradition slowly faded away. Holidays are still enjoyable, as I now gather at my mother’s house with my two brothers. Nevertheless, my holiday spirit has not been the same. With over two decades of family tradition hardwired into my psyche, the abrupt cessation of our customary gatherings has been very difficult in terms of personal adjustment. However, with the birth of my daughter on the horizon, I am feeling much better about holidays now. A bundle of joy will now fill a void of varying sadness that has been meandering around inside me for 7 years now. Now my holidays will be a little more special with my little one in my arms.
  • Lastly, and this could be a little simplified, but I look forward to being a role model. No – a real role model. I won’t launch into a lengthy tirade against your favorite celebrity, but too many of them slyly prop their brand up to profit off starry-eyed children, all the while eschewing any standard value system we desire our children to learn from. But I digress – no worries here. I will be highest standard for my daughter by which all others will be measured against. And in terms of values and principles, that bar is going to be pretty damn high. Dignified. Love. Educated. Cultured. Polite. Hardworking. That is going to be her daddy – the one she looks up to.

The Gentlemen’s Ten – Suit Yourself – Details Every Gent Should Know About His Suit

Canali Suit

For seemingly decade after decade, wayward gentlemen of color have haphazardly eschewed clothing measurements that constitute the stark divide between stylish and slovenly. And nothing illustrates this point more than an ill-fitting, badly tailored suit. Baggy, shapeless silhouettes have long dominated the sartorial landscape in the urban theater, but thankfully, more gentlemen are starting to favor more streamlined proportions – and we are not talking obnoxiously skinny suits either. No, we are referring to suits that fit you and only you! Here are a few words on proportion, fit, maintenance, and everything in between that will assist you in looking your best. Continue reading

The Gentlemen’s Ten – We Are All Witnesses

BrothersMy brother and I were talking one Saturday and I asked him if he ever remembered watching our father attend church service. After briefly pondering my question, he replied that he did not. Sparked by a morning conversation with my men’s church group, where my pastor stressed the importance of sons seeing their father pray, I realized there were numerous things that I never witnessed my father do. Probably because he was sparingly there. As young adolescents, we are subconsciously influenced by things we don’t see just as much by the things we do see. Depending on the argument of the week that determined if my father would be allowed in the house, the only two things I did witness, on a regular basis, were alcohol consumption & abuse. Being educated on the virtues of manhood? Well, single mother households don’t allow for such luxuries. My mother did her absolutely best, and I am blessed for it. However, it would have been nice to have meaningful male interaction with the man who played a role in my conception.  So, I comprised a list of things I did not see from my father; but I will ensure my kids do see from me.
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The Gentlemen’s Ten – Blogging (The Hard Knock Life)

blogSo, you want to enter the world of blogging. It seems simple enough – right? All one has to possess is a valid e-mail address and a password. From there, you select the appropriate blog software, and soon you will be publishing your work on the Internet. Again, it seems simple enough – right? Well, it really isn’t. I’ve been blogging since 2008 and I am here to tell you this: it is serious work. Serious work that does not reap a financial reward, well, at least not immediately if you choose to follow a monetary route. Work that is sometimes – scratch that, almost always – thankless at the start. That is, of course, until you have worked tirelessly to establish a regular reading audience. Yes, maintaining a blog is difficult. And today I’m going to share the ugly, not so glamorous side of it. This isn’t a post about how to make money (I get that a lot) or, well, how to make money – seriously, I really get that question a lot. Nope, this post is simply about the trials and tribulations I have experienced as a blogger. So, without further delay, here is what you can expect if you decided to take the blogging plunge.
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