My big boy is Back to School and halfway through his first week of classes. I'm not talking about bright shining faces and new backpacks back-to-school. Rather, rented minivan filled with boxes and clothes and hundreds of dollars in textbooks back-to-school. Not to mention that pesky tuition bill I'm paying via the grace of God and starting a 529 Plan for him nine years ago.
With everything that's currently going on in our nation, but even if we lived in a utopia, I couldn't be a prouder dad.
Meet Ross and watch his testimony on what it means to be a father.
In all seriousness (the above is a joke), my adoption of the boy went through a couple weeks back and although I've always envisioned it being some spectacular moment for me it actually just came and went and brought a quick smile to my face. I think the process took as long as it did (it defies logic how long it took and was confounded with hurdles) so God could burn the braggadocio out of me in order for me to see the bigger picture. That picture is that my son (who no one can no longer hint or wink at me and whisper, "Well, he's not really your son..." - without seriously getting cursed out) who has always known he is loved now knows, beyond the shadow of a doubt, he is claimed. Hopefully, this will serve him well as continues his journey into manhood and EVENTUALLY parenthood.
Before you go, please meet Ross and watch his testimony on what it means to be a father..
The video contained in this post was a rush job. There are no ifs ands and buts about it. I had been trying to schedule Scott for a shoot all week and when he was finally available, my time was not my own. But I committed myself to making it happen.
What I didn't anticipate was Scott's nervousness. We've discussed fatherhood in the past and also in the days leading up to my taping him. He's a fun-loving bear of a man who speaks with so much pride and passion about being a father I was caught off guard by his jitters about saying the right thing. Or worse, saying the wrong thing.
I knew that if we had to do multiple takes, this guy was going to start overthinking and making mechanical something that comes very naturally to him. So we did this in two takes, albeit with some camera shake, the Sun imposing it's will on us and my overlooking some tiny gaffes in the name of getting the most authentic and raw footage possible.
Unbeknownst to him at the time, Scott gave me some of the purest gold I've ever had the pleasure to watch. I literally have grinned from ear to ear while watching. Especially 2:55 into the video.
I hope you will agree. Fatherhood in Black: Because We Do Exist
Happy Father's Day to you and yours.
Before you go, meet Ross and watch his testimony on what it means to be a father.
The point remains that you're currently empty-handed and idealess on what to get Dear Old Dad and you actually believe socks, grocery store cologne, shaving cream under $35 and a tie of any price is insulting. And because the day is tomorrow there is no amount of money you can pay Amazon to get a gift to you by Sunday. Fret not! I've got some VERY last minute suggestions for you that won't bust your wallet (or even if they do, it's worth it) and are as far as your local Target and as close as your laptop.
Meet Ross. Ross is an acclaimed photographer, a devoted husband and the proud father of a bouncing baby girl. Ross was gracious enough to take a few moments to share his thoughts on fatherhood with me and is the inaugural subject of my new docu-series called Fatherhood In Black: Because We Do Exist.
The mission of this message is to promote the reality that men of color, particularly African American men, are dedicated, involved and loving parents despite what much of mainstream media promotes and in contrast to what many believe.
Tweet: This Father Really Loves His Daughter http://ctt.ec/3X9fd+ #parenting #fatherhood #dadstalking
This inaugural entry will eventually evolve into a very large project. Please view and share, this video and this blog post, as much as you like as I hope you will share in my personal passion to truly propel and position positive images of fatherhood. We're here, and always have been --- in plain sight.
“Man this thing is big! It looks like a Transformer.”
This is what I said when I walked up to the gleaming “Ooh La La Rouge” (that’s the actual name of the color) 2014 Toyota Highlander Limited waiting for me in the parking lot of the Toyota dealership near my home. It was brand brand new with only a handful of miles on it. I smiled anticipating what a fun week I was going to have on Toyota’s weeklong Make Room campaign. Then I did what any man would do. I walked the perimeter of the vehicle, taking in it’s curves and lines, kicked the tires and smiled at the bright shiny nineteen-inch alloy wheels and their accompanying tires, Amor All shined to perfection.
Then I took a picture.
I climbed into the vehicle and took in all the appointments – a mix of leather and sophisticated composite materials that immediately suggests that care and attention has been put into this vehicle. It comes with all the bells and whistles that most top line 2014 vehicles should, push-button start, an overabundance of cupholders and interior storage space, back-up camera, sensor-laden mirrors, complete with turn signals that alert you to vehicles to your right and left (those pesky blind spots) and connected car functionality (Toyota’s system is called Entune®), which includes, GPS navigation, an in-dash touch screen, an instrument cluster that feeds you the most essential info from the navigation and audio systems, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity for your smart phone. It also came with a couple of other unanticipated options, namely, the 12-speaker JBL premium sound system, the three-zone climate control and perforated leather-trimmed heated and ventilated front-row seats. I mean seriously, seats that cool you off?
Not so many years ago I believed my father, pictured to the right of my mother, had the strength of ten men. Now as he dwells in the golden age of his life I am amazed by how slowly he moves and yet he is just as strong as he as always been considering that his brother, sister and nephew have all died in the past sixty days. Age has made him slightly crotchety and maybe dulled a bit of his shine, but his slowed pace has created a gracefulness in his movements and an appreciation for moments that I often overlook in my rush to get everywhere. I appreciate and love my father and consider him a living repository of knowledge for my family and myself.
I hope I can be this strong should I ever see the age of eighty-one.