THE GODFATHER

I’ve been watching The Godfather Triology. Awesome series. It’s my type of storyline. It’s about this alpha male, Don Corleone, an Italian immigrant living in America, who he built a formidable dynasty of ‘diplomatic’ mafias. And he dealt crime in a justifiable manner, many a times using his men and guns to fight for justice for the oppressed. And running the gambling business. I’m on part three now.

But what intrigues me the most about the series is how these gangsters had an admirable reverence for their families. Their families were their all. They would kill to defend them. They loved them endlessly. Something else I admired was how they never talked business at the dining table, they honoured family time, greatly.

Their wives loved and cherished them. Their children and grandkids looked up to them. Don Corleone, The Godfather himself, was the epitome of what a family man should be. And he passed that same culture to his sons.

I have many fond sentimental thoughts and beautiful childhood memories of my father (God bless him). He is a great pillar of strength in my manhood and I look up to him as a role model in many ways, especially for his undivided devotion for family. There is this one time him, myself and Mum travelled from Nakuru to Nairobi. I was around 5 years old or thereabout. He held me throughout the bus ride. I slept on his chest till we got to Nairobi.

The warmth of a father’s embrace was engrained in my mind and lives on twenty years later. I’m most fortunate to have experienced that as I understand, sadly, not many people have fond memories of their Dads.

Why do I share this though?

Our couple friends, Sammy and Vee did something humbling this past weekend. They gave Reina and I, the role of godparents over their adorable son, Darell. For some reason, they found it fit to do so. Gracias.

To be honest, I’ve never had a godfather myself. Meaning, I have little knowledge of what is expected of me. But if I put together my general knowledge and hours invested in watching The Godfather series, I have a clue about what’s expected of me.

Plainly put, I’m expected to love. Because a father is called to love his own with everything he has.

He’s also called to teach, to protect, to provide, to be present in the lives of his loved ones and mostly to forge their destiny. I once heard a preacher say, that “Father” is the only name, God Almighty shares with a human being. That in itself speaks volumes.

I really like Darell. He’s reserved, mysterious and as calm and serene as a lake in the morning. Now he’s learning to walk. Sometimes he’ll make all these funny sounds, then look at you and smile. A million dollar smile.

On Monday, Vee said to me, “Muindi, Darell needs to go to the clinic on Thursday. You and Sammy should take him.” I said yes. That’s her idea of getting me to hit the ground running with my new role.

So on Thursday morning, Sammy and I, after having breakfast and Reina helping us pack the kid’s bag, we left for the hospital. You got to admire that Sammy – the freelance uber graphic designer and Mc – mostly does the clinic visits when his wife’s at work. He says that he does it proudly because he’s not a single bit ashamed of tending to his son. I held the bag in my hand and we walked out, Darell strapped on his father’s chest with the baby carrier.

This being my first time, I was excited to see how it goes. I noticed several ladies staring at us, mostly Sammy as we walked. One stranger, a lady, was so excited not to withhold her comment and she said, “That’s nice,” pointing her finger at Darell. She looked thoroughly impressed.

‘Thank you,’ Sammy responded. He later told me that he gets a lot of that. Not many people imagine that a father can take time off his busy schedule to take his son to the clinic. Ideally, it’s considered the mother’s role.

I remember Reina saying to us as we left the house, ‘you guys should take a selfie. This is so cool.’

When we got to the hospital, Darell had fallen asleep. Sammy needed to check in first so I held Darell and sat in the lobby waiting. There were all these kids with their Mums. Happy kids, sad kids, kids with long hair, some with short, one particular one who kept smiling shyly at me. All of them were too cute. You see the faces of their Mums and you feel a little bit of the weight of being in their shoes and it makes you gain more respect for parenting.

But even in the lobby, Sammy and I were unicorns. Not many men were seen in the vicinity. One Mum said to the other as we walked into the doctor’s room, ‘huyo ni wa Baba.’ Referring to Darell as; ‘son of the father.’ If there is one thing I took home from that whole experience, was the need and intentionality to be an involved father in the lives of my kids.

It pays to be actively present in their lives and even more so, to build a strong bond between you two. When Darell started groaning and getting stubborn at some point, Sammy knew just what he needed to calm him down. He pulled out a video from the movie Sing, a performance that had Darell sit still listening.

I’ll be honest, I look forward to having kids of my own.  I want them to have those big cute eyes Reina has. And I’m glad to be a father in practice as Darrell’s Godfather.

It’s a role I don’t take lightly.

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