Name: Vernon Chipman | City: Miami FL | Instagram: @mr_two3
What does being a father mean to you?
Fatherhood is the reason I wake up every morning. When I found out I would become a father, I had a lot of mixed emotions. Ultimately, I knew one thing; I would not be a deadbeat dad! I made a promise to myself that I would do whatever it took to be a part of my child’s life from the time she was in the womb. Because of my daughter, I started to take life seriously and graduated college! Everything I do is for my girls!
Describe your experience with your father growing up and how that impacted you today.
I grew up with my dad in the house. We had a pretty good relationship. He lead by example and showed me what it meant to be the head of a household. He supported me in everything I did and made sure I never went without. He was strict but yet fair. He was big on what he called “Man Skills”, where he taught me things a man should always know how to do. My daddy was my hero. I always wanted to be a better as good of a man as he was/is. He set the bar high, and I am constantly working to surpass it.
What things did you take from your experience growing up into your own fatherhood journey?
Growing up, my dad always sacrificed himself for others. Regardless of how much of an inconvenience it was, he constantly served those around him. Both my parents actually. This helped mold me into the person I am today. I love helping others because I saw it going on around me so much. This is something I am instilling in my own children. Always take care of your neighbor. Treat them the way you want to be treated.
Another thing I do as a parent is always tell my girls I love them. Although I knew my dad loved me, that wasn’t something g you heard much in the house from him. Really never. It was understood, but sometimes you would like to hear it. It was uncommon for a man to tell another man that he loves them. I vowed that when I had children, I would say it multiple times each day. Not just to my kids, but to my friends and family members as well. It feels good to hear the words “I Love You”.
Have you had any obstacles on your fatherhood journey? If so, explain.
Throughout this journey I’ve had many obstacles. The most challenging obstacle is not being in the same city as my kids. I have two kids that live in two different states. It’s tough not being able to see them both everyday. My oldest and her mom relocated when she was 2 years of age. Although it was tough for me, I didn’t let that stop me from being in her life. I traveled 2-3 weekends every month to see her. I made dance recitals, cheerleading completions, school presentations, etc. I refused to miss out on those precious moments. My second child arrived 3 years ago. It’s been a year since she relocated and that has had a strain on me as well. I still traveled 2-3 times per month, just in two different directions. I came to a point where I had to make a decision. I chose to move to the same city as my oldest, to be with her for as she entered middle school (These are the most important years in a young ladies’ life). I wanted to be there for her as embarked on these new experiences. I still make sure I visit my little girl often. Thanks to technology, we are able to FaceTime each other multiple times everyday. I wish I was Superman, that way I could fly from one place to the next, just to see both off to school and tuck them both in at night.
What advice would you give others new on their fatherhood journey?
I encourage new fathers to stay strong. It’s not always going to be easy or fun, but it’s all worth it. Control your emotions, because they matter the least. It’s about the child. Do what it takes to put a smile on their faces. That smile will light up your world. Most importantly, don’t let anyone or anything stop you from being a father. No excuses! Everything you go through will be worth it when you see the glow on their faces. “Daddy” is the greatest title I own.
If you wanted to write a short letter to your father, starting with “Dear Father,” what you say?
Dear Father, THANK YOU! Thank You for always being there for me. I appreciate you for being a father and a friend. When I needed advice, you were there. When I needed a shoulder to cry on, you were there. When I needed a laugh, you were there; and when I needed an example you were there! I enjoy our time together, and I just ask that we continue making memories while we can. Thank You for showing me what a Real Father is!
List some other dope Fathers that you cosign.