No More Daddy's Baby Boy

August 2, 2019

Dear Mkazo,

 

Today is your day, Kazo! You turned six years old today. Your mother and I are surprised to see how fast you are growing.

 

By far, you are our most active child. You enjoy running, jumping, kicking, flipping, and every other action suitable for five-year-old children. This year, you have asked that we take you to “Kentucky.”

 

Kentucky is the name you call the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant. We've gone there once since we moved to Antigua and you never forgot. I believe the popcorn chicken is your favorite. I don’t eat chicken, so I can’t tell you if it tastes like the restaurant’s recipe in the States. 

 

You would also like to go to Jump Zone. The Jump Zone on the island is Antigua’s version of an indoor trampoline park. You've never been to Jump Zone, but somehow believe that a visit will make your day special.

 

I hope you like your birthday gift. No, it is not a mohawk. For the past few weeks, you've been asking to cut your hair and style it in a mohawk. You saw someone on the tv show Beastmaster, rocking a mohawk and became convinced that it is the best look for you. Your mother and I prefer dreads for you and your brother. 

 

When I went to the States for my last trip, I bought your gift. Given your obsession with Bey Blades, it seemed like the best choice to get you another one of these spinning toys for your day. It goes with the Bey Blade battle arena purchased for you by Auntie Brit.

 

In the fall you will begin first grade. I am sure that you will continue to do well in school. You will inevitably continue to make new friends. 

 

I watched how your classmates appeared to be drawn to you when we dropped you off at school in the morning. On most mornings, a group of other children would run up to you as soon as you stepped onto the playground. You have lots of friends in Antigua.

 

On this day and every day, I want you to know that I love you. I will be here for you, your siblings, and your mom for the rest of my life.

 

When I look at you, I see parts of myself as a child. People often say that you look like your great-grandmother. I don’t see it. I see a younger version of myself with limitless potential to make a positive impact in this world.

 

I don't know what you will choose to do when you grow older. You might decide to follow my footsteps and become a professor. You may select entrepreneurialism, stunt double, singer, or some other profession that speaks to your heart. Whatever you do, choose something that adds value to your life and other people in need.  

 

Happy birthday again, baby boy!

 

I love you,

Dad

To learn more about one of the activities that has influenced my approach to fatherhood, buy my latest book: Capoeira, Black Males, and Social Justice: A Gym Class Transformed.

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