“Learning about being a father”

by Aaron Patrick Jakamarra Bradshaw

Aaron Jakamarra Bradshaw with his son (L) Aaron Junior Jupurrurla Bradshaw and his daughter (R) Rosie Napurrurla Bradshaw. Image by Jason Japaljarri Woods, PAW Media.

I wanna tell you a bit of story about myself, how I learnt how to be a father. As I was growing up, my stepdad was looking after me. He raised me since I was a little boy. I learned better for how to be a father because he was like a real dad to me. He took me to places, took me hunting, swimming, and camping and he taught me how to respect people. My uncle used to do the same. Because he was looking after me straight after my mum and stepdad broke up. He had five kids too. I was looking up to him too, he showed me how to be a great dad.

Now I’ve got two kids of my own, Rosie and Aaron Junior. Rosie’s my big daughter, she’s 5 years old and my son, Junior, he’s two years old. When Rosie was born, I thought that it was gonna be hard for me to raise a child, but then I got used to it, raising a child. But really I learnt from my uncle, Patrick, and my stepdad, Lloyd.

Before my stepdad got married with my mother, he wasn’t a good man. Not until he found my mother and he started to raise me and my little brother Jacob, then he was a great dad to us. Then my other little brother Lloyd Junior was born. My stepdad was with my mum till Lloyd Junior was 11. Then they broke up, about seven years back, but I still call him dad, because he raised me up since I was a child. He used to tell me to go to school every day, even if I wanted to walk around. He didn’t like that, he always gave me a hiding and told me to go back home and sleep for school. Sometimes I used to sneak away and stay out late. But he still used to wake me up in the morning, make me have a shower and go to school!

My stepdad’s met my two kids, he’s proud of them two and my brother’s little son too. I help my brother with his son too, always buy toys and presents when I go and visit them.

Now I’m an uncle too– I’m the oldest out of my grandmother and her brother and sisters. I’ve got one nephew, and I might have work to do for him, I’ve gotta learn a bit for him, see? Zedric’s little baby son is my little nephew – I’ll maybe be like my stepdad and uncle for him, you know? If he wants something from me, I’ve gotta give it to him because he’s my nephew. And maybe when I get older he’ll look after me. He needs to be showing respect for family and elders. Zedric will be teaching him these things.

I hope when Rosie and Junior grow up that they go to school every day and learn about their education. I hope they can get a job, get a house and a car. I want them to know their Dreaming. I want Rosie to be a good sportswoman – she loves basketball and softball. Sometimes she tries to play football! And Junior plays football and basketball too, he likes the same sports as me.

Yeah I always learnt from my uncle and stepdad, about raising kids.