The Joys Of Being A Dad

The Joys Of Being A Dad

My kids need all of me, no matter what. I’m 52 years old and my dad still loves me the same way from day one and that has shown me how to love my own children. My kids are my heartbeat, they’re the best thing that I have going on in this world. And feel proud to be their dad. 

My name is Andre Beckett. I’m a dad of two amazing kids. I am a citizen of re-entry and was gone from when they were only 12 and 13 years old. They were little and it wasn’t easy getting back into their lives when I returned. But I had lots of support that included my parents, who never stopped believing in me, and The District Dad’s Program with Martha’s Table. Both helped boost my relationship with my kids, encourage me to put in the hard work, and become the dad I wanted to be for them.

A District Dads participant from a different cohort showed me the flier for the program and got me connected. At the time, I did maintenance jobs and thought it was a good idea to check out the program, because I knew I could use some good inspiration. When I first came to Martha’s Table and heard the presentation for the program, I thought, “Man, this is where I belong”. It was challenging at first. I learned some hard lessons about ending bad habits. But I stuck to my family’s tradition of working hard and putting yourself in a good position to provide, no matter how hard it gets. I knew sticking with this program would help me get on track to gain career success which would help me support my kids to my fullest potential. The hard work paid off. It catapulted my career. I now work at Ronald Reagan International Airport, making $32 an hour as an aviation engineer. 

With this new and steady job, I’m able to support my kids. I worked hard and bought them both cars before I bought myself one. My daughter saying “I just want you to be there” always sticks in my head. So if I can help her get to me a lot faster when I’m a little busy, I need to do this. My priority is the comfortability of my kids. I didn’t want them standing at the bus stop. If I could work hard enough to help get them cars to work and home that makes me, as a father, feel good. Even if I have to sit there on that bus, at least I know my kids are able to go here and go there. Two years later I bought myself a truck. Now we can all meet up and have a picnic and have a family day at a regional park where no one has to go pick someone up. 

There’s nothing like when you see your child’s car in front of the house knowing they’re staying for dinner. It’s that balance right there…us being able to see each other more.

What I enjoy most about being a father is just the happiness I feel from giving unconditional love and protection. I love being there for them and hearing them say “That’s my dad” proudly to their friends. 

I’m so grateful for the District Dad’s program at Martha’s Table. It has really changed me into an amazing individual. My mom and dad are so happy for me. I’m on a high note ending the program and starting a new career where I can retire and get a pension. That’s the success of me bettering me, giving it to my kids, and letting them grow from it. 

And just because I have finished the program, I’m not going to stop supporting, sharing my story, and coming to the program as an alumni. I want those other people coming in to understand that I am here with you. I want them to know that you can stop and change your life for the better in those 12 weeks. If you want it, they’re gonna give you the tools, but you got to hold on to it and use it as motivation.

If I could go back, I wouldn’t change anything. At this point in my life, for me and my kids, I’m really blessed. They have seen a 360 change in me, and I’m proud of that. 


Photo of Andre Beckett

About the Author:
Andre Beckett is a natural-born motivator. He’s a Ward 8 resident and proud father of two children. He participated in the District Dad’s program at Martha’s Table, which helped him land a career as an Aviation Engineer. 

About District Dads:
District Dads program is a supportive space created in partnership with the Capital Youth Empowerment Program (CYEP) that brings together male caregivers with the goal of focusing on personal growth and sharing stories of their experiences caring for children. The 12-week program covers topics ranging from positive parenting practices to navigating the legal system for fatherhood rights.

1 New comments

Oliver | Reply

Absolutely fantastic.

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