children Tag

Daddy Thoughts 17 – Brand new daughter

“Fresh from god’s eye” -Ursula Rucker

I’ve always loved that line. I’m not religious and do not subscribe to any faith. I’m not even sure if I believe in a god, but I have definitely called upon someone or something before….

 Well, in parenting news. In addition to being the father of a 14 year old boy I now have a brand new baby girl. She is smiley, glorious, beautiful, soft, cuddly, and a piece of my heart breathing. My wife gave birth to her in September and we have both been just adjusting to our daughter’s every need. That means a lot less sleep of course and the slow down of the grind and hustle to really take time to smell her hands, hold them, and marvel at her presence. She indeed has a presence.

One question I have gotten a lot since she was born is if it is different from when my son was born. Of course it is. I mean, I feel the same and I feel very different. I was a baby when my son was born. My son’s mother and I split up when he was 3 and some how managed to co-parent this child since then. Not without hiccups, disagreements, or challenges at all. But he’s ok. My wife and I started our relationship over 6 years ago, got married 3 years ago, and now we have this beautiful little girl to be thankful for. We wished for her, wanted her, and prayed that she reach us safely. I feel so blessed that my wife and my daughter are safe and healthy. Baby girl is talking and cooing a lot. She is discovering things beyond a few feet in front of her and she is figuring out how to use her hands. She is amazing and it was extremely sweet to have her big brother meet and hold her (see photo).

A couple of thoughts with this one. Each child has a presence, and is so different. There are things I forgot about, and some things that are coming back to me very easily. One thing is for sure, I am so proud and happy to be her Daddy. I look forward to raising her with her Mama and introducing her to her family and community. I dislike the mountain of girls clothes with pink and having to have a bow or something pink for people to know she is a girl. Also, I wonder if that gender is what she will grow up to be. I can’t wait to take her to the park and run around. Me and my son did that all the time and I loved it!

That’s it for now.

Previous post: 8th grade feelings

2nd annual Social Justice Book Fair – Oakland

Folks, for the 2nd year in a row I have been able to help produce this amazing book fair with Social Justice minded kids bk creators, authors of color, queer and local authors. We started off in the mighty Chapter 510 space last year and have moved to Destiny Arts, still in Oakland. If you are around, we have many great book makers confirmed and the Grammy nominated group ALPHABET ROCKERS will be in the house performing alongside the kids and doing interactive tings. I will be there as well selling my book, reading, and signing books for families.

Saturday Dec 8th, 10am-2pm
Destiny Arts in Oakland
Social Justice and Diverse Books
Alphabet Rockers and various performers for kids
 Event link

Alphabet Rockers – Walls

Walls by Alphabet Rockers for those parents wanting a song for kids that discusses walls and loving one another. AND its Bilignual!
Although AR are Grammy nominated and most love their message, they have been asked not to perform the song because some parents didn’t agree w/ the message. Watch this and share w/ your kids.

Children’s portrait 48- Alejandra

Can’t remember this young lady’s background other than that she’s a mixed latina. But she really likes Wonder Woman and wanted herself painted in her halloween costume, plus some of the newer WW symbols from the film. Super cute kid with curly hair!
Would you like a custom portrait painted? Please check out this link for my store.

Want tos ee the previous one? Click HERE for portraits of brothers Elijah and Zander

One of a kind, like me 11- Animation

This is a story by Laurin Mayeno, the author of “One of a kind, like me” and this is an awesome heart wrenching animation about her son and her son’s father. For those that don’t know, El Salvador and other countries like Guatemala and Nicaragua were doing their best to throw US forces and puppets out of their countries but were facing US trained mercenaries, deaths quads, and several coup’s to control those countries, their people, and their wealth. Please watch!

Urban Dads- Dad groups

This is a really touching video, so inspiring to see. Great to see groups like this, Fathers Incorporated (ATL), Black Men Smile(ATL), Fathers Corps (Bay Area), and others doing the work.

Book Zone @ Life is Living 10!

Hey folks, I’m sure you know that I’m a father, husband, artist, and children’s book creator. 

I would like to invite your family to join me and hundreds of other parents @ Life Is Living, October 14th, 2017It’s the 10th year anniversary. Likely to be the best event in all of Oakland that day. Can you join us? If so, RSVP HERE and tag other parents who might be interested.
// My family has attended Life Is Living for the last 10 years.
We attend because it is a place to see friends, meet fellow creatives, and to manifest community building. It’s been a great space to meet new people, to catch up with folks, and introduce my son to so much–skating, visual arts, poetry, healthy food, an event with a vibe filled with love. This is our second year as more than just attendee’s. Last year we organized a book zone. That was fun, so we’re doing it again. This time, with multiple story times throughout the day!
We’ve organized a host of local authors to lead story time through out the day. This years focus is on stories about children of color and some stories about queer kids too.
Hear the stories with your kids, meet the authors, collect a book, get author signatures, and connect with literacy some advocates like the Oakland Public Library.
We hope to gathering over 100 Parents throughout the day at the Book Zone, which is part of a much larger KIDS ZONE run by artist Emily Butterfly. 
There will be many activities for children such as face painting, silk screening, mural painting, and there is a Labyrinth and obstacle course!
OCTOBER 14TH 10:30am-5:30PM, Defremery (Bobby Hutton) Park 1651 Adeline St, Oakland, Ca 94607

Daddy Thoughts 13- Armor & Loops

hard to predict the level of protectiveness I would feel as a parent before
this child was here. Actually it is hard to imagine the level of protectiveness
I’ll feel with each developmental change. I think one of the things that amazed
me so much when I became a dad was the level of fragility I felt. I wanted to
shield and protect. I realized there was so much destructiveness in this
are vulnerable to a lot with or without a guardian. Some of the danger we can
control like a broken glass bottle in their path, or skipping a film you know
is R rated.  But some experiences
we can’t even see. Humiliation, betrayal, or hurt feelings; how do you prepare
a kid for that? I mean, you can prep them. Give them a pep talk. But there really
is no way to learn how to cope with tough issues until you face them. So, many
times recently because of a change in my co-parenting plan (involving him
living away from me) I have felt an ever growing urge to arm my son. I mean physically
and mentally arm him. Like Neo in the Matrix! I wish I could download kung fu,
conflict resolution, or cooking lessons on fried rice.
think of putting all the necessary items in his backpack before he embarks on a
journey. And yet I can’t. I can prepare him a little, but I can’t give him armor
so that the harsh blows of reality wont stun him too much. As a guardian or
parent, have you ever felt this way? Like you’re not giving a child enough to
equip them for this thing called life? What is something you wish your parents
had given you?
least I can say I started the downloading of martial arts. I enrolled him in a
kung fu class and as evil as it sounds, I can’t wait til’ he starts sparring
and gets whacked, and hits back in a safe environment.

Side note: Lately this child has been a human tape recorder, pausing and
replaying things. Rewinding and repeating phrases and sounds. From old vine and
You-Tube videos, commercials, to black musicians’ declarations appropriated by
the internet. He’ll say the same phrase over and over again until I have to say
in Spanish “stop”, ”no more”, “enough”! Lord knows I hate to crush the boy’s creativity
but sometimes I need quiet. Strangely enough when they leave you, you find
yourself saying the very things that annoyed you or longing for their voice.

Life is Living-Oakland Oct 8th

I will be reading Furqan’s First and One of a kind like me at the Kids Zone around 2. And I will be selling the books the whole day near the OPL, come and find me. Here are some of the flyers created for this years Life is Living event showcasing music, dance, art, culture, health, and good vibes. Come through and feel free to share the posters w/ the 50 yr Black Panther anniversary design! If youre an artist or book vendor and would like to table please go HERE.

Play-Well Teknologies! (For kids)

Hey parents, please be on the look out for this organization that teaches engineering skills to girls, boys, and gender non conforming students all across the US using LEGO’s!! I took my son to one of their workshops a year ago and invited them to his school science & wonder fair and the kids loved it. The organization holds workshops, classes, summer camps, birthday parties and more. Please check them out.