Earlier this year, I hooked up with photographer, Jamie Bruce. This is our second collaboration. We decided to just turn my living room into a set, and my jeans, a tank top, and a jean shirt our wardrobe. All we did was discuss (the recent passing of) Prince, and talk about me coming to visit him in his hometown, of Nassau, Bahamas.
I looked at my son this morning and realized he’s almost two years old! It amazed me because I honestly thought I would die before I had a child. Not that I didn’t want children, but I thought I couldn’t do it. I thought I couldn’t raise a child. But I must say, I’m a really good Dad.
Anyway, today was his first beach day.
Now, he’s been to the beach before but we thought he may have erimikophobia; a fear of sand. For as long as he could walk, he’s never been too fond of sand. His first time at the beach was about a year ago. Everything was all good until his little feet touched the sand. Now, I don’t know if it was the feeling of sand or maybe it was too hot but ever since that day, no matter where sand was, he wasn’t stepping in it. It didn’t matter if it was at a playground or in a backyard, if the ground was covered with sand he would politely say “Up”, which for him means “Pick me the F up and don’t let my feet touch this stuff.” But yesterday, we had a breakthrough.
We got to the beach. Layed down some towels and sat back, watching him cautiously, preparing for a freakout. He walked across the towels, until he got to the edge. Stepped his toes across the threshold and into the sand. He jumped back, but didn’t cry “Up”. He gathered himself, ate some gummy bears and refocused. He walked to the edge again. This time two feet. He stood there. Jumped back on the towel. Looked at us (mommy and daddy) for reassurance. “Go. Its ok,” we said. “No”, he said, but thats because he doesn’t say, “Yes”. Because before you knew it, he took off across the sand. Toward the water he went. Toward the beautiful, blue, Miami waters and he stopped turned around as to say, “One step at a time. I don’t know about the blue stuff.”
I can’t recall ever having a birthday party. Ive had sleepovers with pizza, and I remember always getting cake and ice cream and sharing with my siblings but I don’t remember a party. I don’t remember balloons and music, and I never had the chance to pass out invites at school. My mom says i had a couple of birthday parties growing up but she couldn’t recollect which years, so i concluded Ive never had a birthday party.
This past weekend that ended. To my overall surprise, my loved ones collaborated to throw me a surprise party during my visit back home to D.C.. I had an inkling I was going to have a party weeks prior but I couldn’t find any proof; no one cracked. Im glad they didn’t. It brought much joy and humility to me. I can’t thank everyone enough who made my birthday the best one to date. Just about everyone I care about in one room for me. It was a little awkward with several ex-girlfriends showing up but my lady was the most gracious host and I thank her for holding it together, mostly. I had the most epic
fail cake of all of my birthdays. It was a “model
cake with two random black guys on it, that looked like me but were suppose to be me. I loved it! I loved every single moment of that night. Ill cherish it forever in my heart and ill never forget my first birthday party (that anyone can remember).
This year has been remarkable. But of all my accomplishments, my greatest is my son, Kekoah. He is my new beginning. He is my restart button. He is my motivation and the renewer of my faith in God and in love. He is also the reason, I’m slowly becoming a stay at home Dad.
In older movies and shows, and among higher income families, at least until the past decade or so, women stayed at home, while the husband provided. I watch Mad Men, and Don Draper gets home to tuck his children in. You have shows like Desperate Housewives and my new favorite, The Goldbergs. In all of these examples, men are home after work and women hold down the fort. However, my family, like a lot of modern families is structurally different.
Not drastically. My lady isn’t pulling long hours at the office and coming home to kiss e on the forehead and asking “whats for dinner?”. Our situation is just different. I am model and actor. Im an independent contractor and I have a part time job but on my days off, which are about 3-4 per week, Im home with my kid. Im left to clean the house, run the errands, and be the nurturer until she gets home. I even find myself watching Bravo TV and reading People magazine.
I still feel like a man. I don’t feel any less manly because I buy her tampons and wash clothes or get manicures while rocking a stroller with my foot. I actually have come to enjoy this new position. Its renaissance-ish. Im inspired by the delight in his eyes and I’m learning to empathize with the plight of moms everywhere who stay at home full time.