Today, you turn four years old, and I couldn't be happier to be your father. You are an amazing little person who already displays an enormous amount of strength and determination.
Last night, you wanted to bathe yourself. You were tired of me and your mom’s insistence on making sure your body is clean and took the sponge into your hand. On multiple occasions, you have declared your independence from our limiting expectations of you at this age. Unlike your siblings, you take pride in finding your clothes and getting dressed. You plead to do nearly everything by yourself, and last night you added taking a shower to that list.
Before your arrival, I believed that you were going to be a girl. Forgive me, but I didn't think that God would bless me with two boys. As you know, I am the only son of my father, and I assumed that I would have a similar fate in the honor to raise one male child. When you were born, I was elated that you were healthy and biologically fit the definition of a male. As a newborn, you looked like Vizuri and made our family feel complete.
Your amazing mother brought you into this world without medication. In fact, she gave birth to you in a planned home birth when we lived at 81st and Luella in Chicago, Illinois. From the moment I saw you I wanted to cry tears of joy, but unfortunately my understanding of masculinity got in the way. Thankfully, your grandmother Nowanna was there and cried enough tears for the both us. She loved you unconditionally as we did from the moment we saw you. We love you on this day as you celebrate four years of life and we will love you tomorrow just the same.
Mkazo, I want you to know that you should not allow any construct of gender or race to determine your destiny. Yes you are a Black male who is from an incredible lineage of people; I want you to understand that via your unlimited potential, you can transcend the limitations others may impose on your life. There will be people who underestimate you and try to undermine your significance, but mom and dad believe in you. We know that you and your siblings are blessed with talents and skills that can make an incredible impact in this world. Of course, there will be challenges and obstacles, but I want you to know that anything is possible when you work towards positive solutions led by the belief that God has created you to be your best self.
Over the past year, I have watched you blossom throughout our transition to Mexico. When we moved here October 15, 2016, you were unable to speak Spanish. Today, you are holding conversations with your friends at school, Emery, and Zuri. We are proud of your accomplishments and look forward to your bright future.
My hope is that one day you will read this letter and understand that your mom and I were trying to do our best to raise you and your siblings. We may not always make the best decisions, but our intentions are to help you answer your life’s calling (s) and to prepare you via love, positive self-awareness, and a spiritual foundation that empowers you to reach your full potential.
Happy birthday Mkazo Haki Vitorrio Aza Lindsay!
I love you,