I’ll call you “Mini-Me” for now because we haven’t met yet and I don’t know if you’re a boy or girl. It’s an exciting, uncertain time right now in my life: there’s a whole idiot in the highest leadership position in this country who just launched 59 missiles at another country, your mother and I are preparing for our wedding, and the Undertaker supposedly retired from wrestling after 27 years (thug tears were shed). At this point in time, many of my friends are having children and getting married while thriving in their careers. I see their pictures and videos of their children only to reflect on the type of father that I will be to you. It’s a scary thought to be honest. Not because I’m going to be a bad father to you, but this idea that I’m probably going to embarrass you quite a lot in your lifetime is scary. I’m not afraid to make a fool of myself to try something new or different. I hope that you’ll pick up this fearlessness among other traits (intelligent, great sense of humor, thirst for adventure and life, etc.) as you mature and develop into an amazing adult. You’re probably going to get sick of me by the time you’re 1 year old. I won’t suffocate you like DJ Khaled does his child, but I’ll be close second. There is a reason though.
You see, I’ve had a very rocky relationship with my own father that continues to be strained despite attempts on both ends to make it better. He was caught up in some stuff throughout my life and had to disappear for awhile, thus leaving a pretty huge void especially during my teenage years. I was hurt but I pushed through because of the male figures in conjunction with the female heroes that decided to step into my life to make sure that I’d be on the right path. I understand the power that comes with having a male figure in a child’s life and the difference that it makes in that child’s life. I promised myself that I will not allow my child to experience a life without their father no matter what! I promised myself that I would be a presence in your life and share those moments that are so pertinent to a child: all of the first(s), sexual education talk, college application process, and more. I want to be able to share the wisdom that I’ve gained in my life and help you make better decisions in your own life. I want you to be able to come to me and your mother about situations that you encounter on a daily basis. I’m going to take you to a Florida State football game on a Saturday in the fall, where we can connect with approximately 79,558 of our “closest friends”. I’ll walk you across the campus and tell you stories about your uncles that I haven’t shared with too many other people. We’ll sit in front of the unconquered statue at night and I’ll tell you about the time I found my motivation from that statute that pushed me to graduate. I’ll be there to cheer you on as you walk across the graduation stage.
A friend of mine (call her auntie T) coordinated a birthday party with a whole horse for her daughter’s fifth birthday. Not a pony, but a full grown horse and carriage at that! I’m sure people might think she is outrageous, but I loved it! Your uncle and I used to have birthday celebrations in the Playhouse of a McDonalds or small parties back in our day. I’m going to get you a giraffe just because it’s Saturday. This isn’t going to be an everyday occurrence though. Every once in awhile.
I’m going to educate you on the systems of oppression at play and the impact that this will have on you for the rest of your time on this earth. We’ll have to have “the talk” one day (about what it means to be Black in this world) and I’m afraid to have this critical conversation with you because it will change your interactions with your friends and authority outside of our home. We’ll talk about traveling the world and engaging in the different cultures that I never thought I’d have the opportunity to ever see. I’m excited about this opportunity to influence your life and give you the things/moments I wished I had with my own father growing up. I love you and I ask that you forgive me for dancing on my toes every time you look at me. You’re my legacy and I hope that I always do right by you.