Fatherhood Tag

Jason Wilson -Inspiring words!


This was a really inspiring interview to listen to. In it this brother talks about healing, fatherhood, being a son, hurting, opening up to his emotions, and teaching young men of color to be open to their feelings. I realized I’d seen videos of him and his students in a dojo as he teaches martial arts. But, I’d forgotten about the emotional healing he teaches as well. Def worth a listen!

Daddy Thoughts 19- Twist and repeat

Happy New year to all you reading this and all my parents or caregivers of little ones. I regularly write 2-3 posts a year on parenting, fatherhood, co-parenting, mistakes, or triumphs. But last year was a blur of raising baby raising. My daughter is now over a year old and in childcare so I have a bit more time to get back to work. So here are a couple of observations going through the baby stages again.

Twist and bend!
I forgot how much you have to twist, turn, and bend to care for little people. Sometimes that is because they cannot move on their own and need your help to get that bottle, nipple, snack, or to burp. I started to remember that certain parts or sides of my body got a lot of use to hold my daughter and my son. When my son was born I actually started stretching regularly because my back got sore from picking him up or holding him. I’m better at it now, but I still feel it now with the new baby.

The other side of twisting and bending is the manipulation of your own body to catch them so they don’t fall. It’s the twist to get their shoes on or their diapers off. It’s also the movement and turning to feed them. It’s really funny to see them squirm and turn away when begin to do it. Then, its like bending and twisting to get them to eat. Some. Thing! How many of you are going through this or remember what it was like? I hope you and your body get some rest this year! If anything this teaches us to be flexible, no?

Repeat because kid is tuned out, eat chips for dinner, don’t notice me, littlest effort as possible
Ok with my teen there are a different set of challenges and I would wager to say that this ranges from kid to kid and in no way represents teens. What’s up with mine? He is excelling in school and shared a moment that made me proud. I’ll come back to that.

Repeat, force,
Lately the challenge has been repeating myself and getting him to listen. I think this is a really tough time because with my teen he’s big! But he’s still a kid so I have to remind him to do things like be quiet so his sister can nap, close the bathroom door so she doesn’t throw stuff into the toilet, etc. Beyond that its the normal stuff like washing dishes, greeting people, and the almighty screens. I have relaxed my rules on screens but I still feel like they still need guidance. It is so easy to spend an entire day staring at one as we as adults know this. It’s also easy to forget about real life friends, nature, going to events, and socializing. And I feel like I have to keep trying to reinforce this. Even if it means I am not his favorite person because I made him go outside.

What else? I’m noticing just how much responsibility and pressure is placed on girls and young women versus the freedom to chill and just play that boys have. This is a broad generalization but I see things my mom or family let me do like waiting to make plans, not cooking, or not planning. Planning is such a big one. So, while I don’t want to force him to do too much before he’s ready I am encouraging him to make plans ahead of time and trying to teach him to cook because he’d eat an entire bag of chips for dinner if I let him.

One things for sure, big brother loves little sister and she is fascinated by him.

That’s it. What parenting things are happening for you? Fails and triumphs welcome.
Daddy thoughts 18- Reset button 

Daddy thoughts 18 – Reset button

Hey readers, thanks for continuing to read my thoughts on fatherhood. I last left off at “Brand New Daughter” and have been thinking about how different things are this time around.

Starting over: 
As a new dad again I feel in some ways like I’m starting over. I have a lot of knowledge and experience but also so much to learn still and the feels rather humbling. I did not intend to have such a big break in between children but life had other plans. After my son’s mother and I split I realized I needed to date as an adult. I needed to go out and experience some things I hadn’t as a young father. When I had my son I was only 24 years old. I was a boy myself! Now I’m a grown man with a newborn and a teenager. And this time although I don’t own a home or have all of my finances worked out I feel like I know what to do.

Girl colors: 
My daughter’s personality is different from my son’s of course. He was often very serious as a baby unless you tickled him. And my daughter smiles all the time. One thing I’ve noticed again which I’m sorry to say is still such as thing is gendered colors. It is almost automatic to get clothes that are pink. Pink is a beautiful color but it sucks that this is the only marker that says female child. Why can’t boys wear pink? I dress my daughter in all sorts of colors and have asked many relatives not to buy her pink clothes. I . don’t hate the color. Just the idea that it means “girl” to folks. It’s funny, often times I dress her in grey’s and people will say “he’s” so handsome or cute. Sometimes I correct them, and sometimes I marvel at how engrained we all are. Me included.

New parental improvements: 
There are some new parental improvements that I see. For one, all of the clothes I remember had plain colors or one loud image on them like a car or a pony. Now, I see much more variety in children’s clothing. My wife and I have been blessed to get lots of hand me downs from friends, my god daughter, and other kids. And I see a huge improvement in kids clothing styles. Not only that, but diaper bags, bibs, place mats, etc all have gotten stylistically much better looking. The strollers are more hardcore. I remember the fancy off road strollers that you often see parents pushing and running with were astronomically expensive. There still are pricy strollers, but some of the advancements have been made more affordable. One thing tat is slightly better but still needs improvements are changing tables in men’s bathrooms. When my son was a baby I always had a tough time trying to find a changing table in the bathroom. Often , I’d find a corner and change him on the floor.

Staying home: 
Right now, I am the stay at home dad. I work as a freelancer so I would be at home anyway. But my wife went back to work and is the breadwinner for our family. I feel happy to be able to take care of my daughter and record her new tricks for Mama. But, I also wish I made more money so my wife could stay home with her. Either way, it has meant more than just caring for our daughter. It has meant trying to have dinner ready, wash the mountains of kid laundry, or clean up the whirlwind of our house. All stuff women have done for ages.

I’ve found that there are certain memories that come back to me about my son when he was a baby. The things he used to do. And so many times I cannot remember a certain thing he did or said and that frustrates the hell out of me. I wish my memory was better.

Anyways, thats it for now. Just some reflections on being a dad again. If you missed it, I got to speak with a dad on this podcast! Stay tuned….

Previous post: Brand new daughter

Podcast Interview- Papa Culture Pod!

Yo! Been listening to this laid back podcast run by two fathers. They talk about hip hop, sports, pop culture, dad fails, and dad triumphs! I was lucky enough to be a guest on their show. Check it out on Itunes, Stitcher, or whatever podcast app you listen to. 
Here is the link if you want to listen to it on your desktop. LINK
If you’d like to hear another interview check out The Stoop Podcast where I talked about Black Hair and kids books.

Character 145 – Dad’s who dig

This one is for my Dads or fathers who dig, especially my vinyl junkies. I took my son to the record store a few times and although he wasn’t as excited as I was, I’m happy I got to do that. I will leave my records for him one day. Is there a record that comes to mind when you first started digging? Did your parents take you to look for music at record store, swap meet, convention, or thrift store? Who is a dad you know of that still digs? You want a print of this?
The LP the dad is holding is a remix of the record “TAXI” by Sly & Robbie; a record I grew up hearing in the house.

Record Store Day – Furqan spread

Where all my father’s that dig at? This is a scene from my book Furqan’s First Flat Top. Had to put that in the book because I love music and records. I grew up with them and I plan to pass them on to my son some day.

Just wanted to remind folks that its record store day and to go support your local record store by buying vinyl, tapes, cd’s whatever you can still play in your home or car. If you’re in the Bay Area here are some spots I recommend:

Amoeba Records – Berkeley & SF
Down Home Records – El Cerrito
Green Apple Books – SF
Grooves- SF
Half Price Books – Berkeley
Park Blvd Records & Tapes- Oakland
Rasputin’s- Fairfield & Berkeley
Streetlight Records- San Jose

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.

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.

Rad Families Anthology

All you Rad Dad’s and families out there! Rad Dad is back with a new anthology of works. Peep this message from the founder Tomas Moniz….and order the book for your store, library, or home
Hello, it’s Tomas Moniz, editor and writer and creator of RAD DAD (zine, magazine, & books). After a hiatus following the release of our final magazine issue, we at the RAD DAD collective are back with an exciting birth announcement: RAD FAMILIES is due around September! 

It’s a vibrant & necessary anthology of writings by so many amazing people (including a number of trans, queer, & POC voices) all examining what it means to create family! 

Helps us spread the word, set up an event, & create community!

Questions email tomas.moniz@gmail.com.

In solidarity!