Distance no deterrent to daddy’s love
Any man can be a father, but it takes a real man to be a daddy, a fact which Burchell Gordon is quite aware of.
With his three-year-old bundle of joy, the CEO and creative director at Bromio by Burch, human resource employee engagement officer at the Jamaica National Building Society, and television personality, lives for his daughter's well-being and prides himself as one who couldn't be happier with his heart outside of his body.
"I found out I was going to be a father during my last year of university in 2012. At first, it was shocking news - I was flabbergasted, but eventually accepted my new-found fate and responsibilities. The news did not affect my studies much as I had come to the realisation that this was my destiny - hence her middle name, and I had to adjust my life and adapt to being a parent, as well as understand that my completing my education would be essential to making her comfortable in the future."
With his daughter living in the United States and him being in Jamaica, one would think Gordon's roles as a parent are reduced, but it takes much more effort to maintain his relationship at a distance.
"When she's here, we bond as much as possible. On her last visit, we went to the game arcade, ate together, as well as I made her hang out with my family and relatives. Since she is overseas, we spend most of our contact time talking over Skype, where she tells me "silly stories" - her words - or makes me a sandwich from her play kitchen. She enjoys me pretending to play with her toys and little ponies," he beamed.
"Communication is an important element, based on our distance and working schedules for me. It's sometimes difficult maintaining contact, but I am able to speak with her via phone and other mediums. I think it's important to listen to your children in order to know how to relate. For example, it might not be a big deal to hear about someone at school who laughed at her when she fell or who took her crayon, but it allows you to see and understand how your child is affected and reacts to conflict and how much she trusts and thinks that you care about her and what's affecting her," Gordon added.
Having missed the privilege of witnessing his daughter's birth in real time, on hearing of her arrival made him "elated, nervous and eager to know what she looked, smelt and felt like". Now three years later, their bond is as strong as ever.
"The moment I was told, I felt like I transformed instantly. I think it's unique that we are able to bond and have a relationship from such great distance. She reminds me of myself. Though of a tender age, she has already proven to be smart and creative and is the top student at her school. We have our little cool slangs that we say like 'gimme some sugar'. She knows immediately she should blow a kiss. She never ends a call without saying, 'I love you, Daddy'. That, itself, motivates me."
Watching your child grow up can be one of the most beautiful yet scary thing a parent may experience. For Gordon, such a privilege is incomparable.
"It brings such great joy to realise that you have assisted in bringing a new being to earth that requires the same love and care you would have got or wanted as a child growing up. Your presence is undoubtedly important to their well-being."
He continued, "Parenting can be challenging, especially in these economic times, and the fact that children are starting to socialise differently at school and are affected by television and other mediums. It is important for both parents to play a part since a child's life requires much balance to ensure they grow to be reputable, responsible and contributing members of society."
With nothing but hope for the best, Gordon says his daughter's success in life is what matters most.
"My ultimate wish for my child is to have her live her dreams without fear. I hope she never wants anything and that I am always around to see her succeed and achieve all her goals and that she will love as much as I love her."