“Just because he got her pregnant doesn’t mean he needs to be a Dad.”
“How do you know she wasn’t trying to trap him into a relationship? These women will go to extremes to lock a brother down!”
“Why does he have to change his life because something unexpected happened?”
The allegation that Drake may have fathered a son has brought out an ugly side in people I thought I knew. Men who want to shirk the responsibility of fatherhood when it stares them in the face, preferring to live in pursuit of fun instead of going for something perhaps more meaningful. Guys who see women as objects and children as burdens—who’ve yet to mature enough to understand the value of family and the joys it can bring you.
These worrisome thoughts took me back to my second keynote at Parenting 101—”It’s Hard Out Here for a Dad”, my talk on what it’s like to be a Dad, and why we all need to get a better understanding of it!
I hope you enjoy it!
Another week in the bag, and until next week, I remain,
Tell your wife, tell your kids, tell your husbands:
Work at something hard enough, and you eventually hit a point where everything starts to click.
I’ve been grinding away especially hard at the blog, the job, and everything in between of late, trying to make sense of everything and cut down on the clutter that’s always in the way. And after working my way through requisitioning a purchase order at work and finally getting a few elusive posts within mere sentences of completion, it all finally came together. What I should be doing.
And it’ll take so much writing to get there!
So the plan is this—we’re gonna keep creating ’til the wheels come off. Sarah has this dream—that one day I’ll be able to exist without my mind always thinking about what I’ll next use to fill my content calendar.
And you know what? It’s entirely possible… I just need to get ahead. Schedule content ahead so I can step away for weeks at a time without worry. Get back to seeing the people I haven’t managed to connect with in ages.
Short-term pain. Long-term gain. We can make it happen!
I looked good on paper. I’d just finished my best year yet as a blogger, already looking to take things a step farther with a retooled Live from the 3.5. And adulting was alright, too—I had the routine down with the morning drop-offs, the house was kept relatively clean, and there wasn’t anyone clawing at the door for money. Life was good, and as my friends would point out, many would kill to be in my shoes—but don’t get any ideas. However, all that didn’t make for great storytelling, and no matter what I tried, I couldn’t get my words quite right. The volume was there, but the tank was empty—it was time to look for some new inspiration.
But 2018. 2018 brought 2018’s Dad 2.0 Summit—otherwise known as Dad 2.0 2018 or “Dad 2.018” for short—and it felt like I was finally ready. The kids were in all-day programs, the conference’s costs within my means. I could work remotely and go somewhere I’d never been before—it felt like the pieces had finally come together to make this trip my own.
You’ll often hear me joke that we’re simply graduating from the “Terrifying Threes” to the “What the Fours,” but no matter what comes out of your father’s cynical, hardened mouth, I want you to know that you’re a pretty great kid.
I’m plenty hard on you—your little brother is literally copying your every move right now, so I need you to be a good role model for him—but it’s all because I want you to become the best you possible. You won’t get this until you’re much, much older, but the time I spend as your Dad often makes me reflect on my childhood, realising much of what I hated my parents for back then became the life lessons that make me who I am today. It won’t be easy for you—unfortunately, I’ll likely make sure of it—but I hope you’ll eventually realise I’m doing it to make the best you possible.
Through our great moments—wrestling, cuddling and our excellent “Good Morning” routines for your classmates—and the not so great ones, like when you cry over things I don’t see as issues and or where you refuse to eat and later complain over your hunger… I hope we can sit down sometime in the future, laughing about this over a beer.
You make me laugh, make me shout, and on the rare occasion make me cry (but I don’t break easy, sir), but I’m happy to call you my son and it’s great to see what you contribute to your world. You’re clever, compassionate and really good at making friends—though my focus is on rules, manners and obedience, you have what it takes to become a far better person than your Dad is, and I hope you always know that.
What the Fours — Let’s Make This an Amazing Year!
It’s hard to believe you’re already four, and even looking back at old photos and your younger brother, you already stand out so much as your own person. You’re a little ball of energy who loves experimenting with his hands, and the more I learn about you, the more I want to support your strengths and interests so you never live a life that doesn’t align with your values.
All that said, happy birthday to you. You’ve celebrated with Mom and ate an opulent McDonald’s dinner as per your request. I hope you’ve had a great day, kiddo—here’s to many more!
Tell your wife, tell your kids, tell your husbands:
Though I’ve listened to plenty of rap since buying my first boombox in ’97, I’ve rarely heard anything representing me. Sure, it’s largely Black music, but from a different narrative than my life altogether. Middle-class. Raised in a two-parent home. Private school education, married with kids—nothing you’d want to hear about in the club. And though I found some kinship in Childish Gambino’s “Not Going Back” and Drake’s “You & The 6”, the struggle of growing up Black while lacking enough Blackness for your peers only reflects part of my identity. There’s so much more to my life!
But life is full of surprises. You never know who’s going to create the work that speaks to your soul, and a former hustler from New York’s Marcy Projects would be the last person I’d expect to understand me, but with his thirteenth album 4:44, I can tell you for a fact that JAY Z gets it. With topics like legacy, family and the constant pursuit of excellence, it’s an album speaking to everything I’m trying to build with my efforts here at the blog!