Forty-five-year-old Gary Crick had to make a choice most men are not faced with – should he give up driving his ZR van or take care of his two infant children?
The decision was a no-brainer for the father of four who raised his last two children, Ioaquim Henry, a 16-year-old student of the St Lucy Secondary School and Geheim Innis, an 11-year-old student of the Graydon Sealy Secondary School.
Crick told Barbados TODAY in an interview at Enterprise Beach, Christ Church his decision was fuelled by the fact he did not want his children to be mistreated.
“I am not saying their mothers did not want them but they [wanted] to go their own way at that point in time. I just tell myself that I do not want my children around no men [who would] unfair my children [so] I am going to take care of them myself. After that, I stopped working van for six, seven years and started raising them and I did in-between jobs to help support them. At nights, I was the one who had to get up, change pampers, make tea and do all of those things while [their] mothers were living their lives,” he said.
The PSV driver who operates ZR 285 told Barbados TODAY despite him receiving minor assistance from his children’s mothers, he was their primary caregiver.
“I was the one who got them in school from primary [level] to where they are today. I did it all myself. [Their mothers] helped to buy uniforms but I am the person that really put them in school,” he said.
Crick said Henry and Inniss who reside with him in Parish Land, St Philip are disciplined young men as they are involved in graphic arts and motor sports, respectively. He said they attend Rally Barbados events around the island as a part of their bonding activities.
He told Barbados TODAY he has never received any reports from their secondary schools about his sons being involved in violent acts.
“They grow up to be good boys. I do not get any problems at school with them. [I may] receive minor complaints because they may not want to listen to the teacher but no trouble like fighting. I do not have those kinds of issues. As you can see, I do not do criminal acts, so they have to follow in [their father’s] footsteps,” he said.
Crick urged single parents to allow their children to see the other parent regardless of which one does the primary caregiving.
“I cannot complain when they go and see their mothers because children should still see their parents. It doesn’t matter who raises them. I believe they should always go by their mother or father,” he said, adding that single fathers should always do what is best for the child instead of focusing primarily on what the other parent is doing.
“Worry about the children and not what the mother does. Do not worry if the mother’s giving them money or buying this and that for them. Just do what you have to do,” he said. (LG)