Name: Carlton “Derek” Stegall | City: Newborn, Georgia | IG: @requiem.of.random
What does being a father mean to you?
First off I would be lost without my sons, so being a father to me means using every ounce of energy in my body to ensure their physical and emotional needs are met.
Describe your experience with your father growing up and how that impacted you today.
My father was a strong hardworking feeder driver for UPS, being clean and imprinting the importance of saving money was something he stressed to my brother and myself.
I try hard to instruct Cameron and Carter to not let the money they earn burn a hole in their pockets. With them growing up on a small homestead with animals that provide a portion of our food, they know the importance of cleanliness with handling animals and waste.
What things did you take from your experience growing up into your own fatherhood journey?
I’ve learned it’s good to give reminders and to be stern, but as I’ve gotten older it has been important to know that “every” child is different. What works like clockwork for one can be the wrong instruction for another.
Have you had any obstacles on your fatherhood journey?
Yes!!! Everyday I learn something new. Although their mom and I are not together, her and I work together in raising the boys. I have been the “fun” dad, but with matters of the heart, they always reach out to their mom. I’m learning to be compassionate, yielding and more understanding.
What advice would you give others new on their fatherhood journey?
Listen to those who helped raise you, especially if they were a good example.
If you could write a quick letter to your father, starting with “Dear Father,” what would you say?
Dear Father, I’m sorry for the loss of your firstborn. Thank you for putting up with your last born son. I’m still on that one way street trying to be you and follow your lead.
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