To celebrate Father’s Day, Tank shows us his vulnerable side as he pens these sweet letters to his five beautiful children.
No Perfect Father
Being a father is awesome and it’s more of a learning experience than I really knew. You think being there for special moments is enough, or making sure everything is paid for is enough, or being the best example you can be is enough, but the truth is a father’s job is never done. Thinking that you’re doing enough is a complete mistake! As one challenge subsides another one comes rolling right in. Signing up to be a real father means you commit your life to something greater than you. Means your first priority is the spiritual, mental, and physical well being of these amazing gifts from God. I’m still learning as a father and during this learning curve I have and will continue to make mistakes. I’ll be the first to say I’m no perfect father. So today, on Father’s Day, I write a letter to each of my children individually.
You are my first-born. You are the one who completely changed my life. I still remember getting ready to go on stage and your mom calling me and telling me she’s going into labor. I caught two flights and ran through three airports to see my first baby girl! It was one of the happiest days of my life. Since that day I’ve tried as humanly possible to be there for you in every way. I’ve missed some days I promised I’d be there for and I’ve missed some calls I promised I’d make. You’re so smart and gifted and I don’t want any of my failures to keep you from being able to focus on how great you are and are going to be! For all the things I’ve come up short on as your father I humbly apologize. I love you and my pledge is to grow and continue to become a better man and a better father for me, and the ones I love most! Love you.
You’re baby girl number two. You’re amazing because there were so many complications health wise with you and your mom, and with me and your mom’s relationship at the time. I just prayed you would be born healthy in spite of what the doctors said. God had his way. You came out healthy and extremely happy. You always look on the bright side of things, which is what we had to do in hopes that you would be born ok, and that your mom would survive the delivery. You also are gifted and could use more nurturing from your father’s gifts. I fight to be there with you at all times. You being three thousand miles away does not make it easy, but I make no excuses! I owe you more and you deserve it. For all the things I’ve come up short on as your father, I humbly apologize. I love you and my pledge is to grow and continue to become a better man and a better father for me, and the ones I love most! Love you.
My baby girl number three. You’re just full of life. You and your sister Jordan have that same high energy level that makes a parent tired in less than 30 minutes (LOL). When you were born we were kind of scare because you were too big for you mom to push you out and your heart rate was slowing down so we had to go in there and get you! You came out with a cone shaped head and I asked the doctor immediately if he had any tools to fix it. (Laughs) You love hard like your mommy and you always want to be around your siblings. You all not being together more is my fault. You deserve a better relationship with your brother and sisters and its up to me to make that happen. For all the things I’ve come up short on as your father, I humbly apologize. I love you and my pledge is to grow and continue to become a better man and a better father for me, and the ones I love most! Love you
Dear Durrell Jr.,
You’re my first baby boy! I was definitely excited that you were a boy but your mom and me weren’t on the greatest of terms. We were two different people trying to figure out how to coexist for something bigger than the both of us. I felt like she had an agenda and maybe she felt like I did as well. None of which were true. You have a great mom who from the beginning wanted nothing but the best for you. I wasn’t mature enough to have those tough conversations with her to establish a good working relationship so as a result I missed a lot of your early years. I missed your first step and your first word. (Things that make a father proud.) I don’t make it out to you as much as I should and I know that. We have been getting better but I have to do more. I have to see you more, talk to you more, and just be a father to you more. My example and my energy as a man are vital for you and I owe you that. For all the things I’ve come up short on as your father, I do humbly apologize. I love you and my pledge is to grow and continue to become a better man and a better father for me, and the ones I love most! Love you.
You’re my second baby boy. You’re just the happiest baby I’ve ever seen. You wake up smiling and all day you’re just looking for a reason to keep smiling. You grew two inches and four pounds in one month, which I think is an indication that we have a pro athlete on our hands. Your hands are huge and you super strong. I want you to know that all the things I’m learning with your brother and sisters are making me better, but it doesn’t mean I’ll be perfect. We still have our things to go through and to learn about each other. That’s the good thing about life. As long as you live it you always keep learning. I can’t wait to hear you first word, and see your first step. Pretty awesome ride you’ve taking me on thus far and I look forward to seeing what you become. You’ll have all my help and love to be anything you want to be! Love you.