Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Braiding Hair

Being a father means that I have to learn to do things to help you. I do not think that the thought of me braiding hair ever entered my mind... and yet here is an example of me actually doing it. Even more astonishing to myself is that I want to practice so that I can get better at it. I want to make sure that whenever you should need my help with your hair that I am prepared to lend a hand.

I am always telling you how much I love to learn and that it is important to always have that desire to learn something new. It is not just things that you read in books either! Practical skills like tying a shoelace or braiding your daughter's hair also come in handy and makes life much easier. I cherish every morning with you. It makes my day to start my morning routine with you. 

I will always remember these mornings where our conversations run from what you have to do in your day to what Venus' atmosphere is like. All the while you eat breakfast and Papi braids your hair... I hope that when you are older that you are able to look back at these years as fondly as I will. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Setting Examples

As part of our ongoing conversation regarding my role as a father I have told you that I am here to share what I have learned with you. I think of one of the most important things that I can teach you is the responsibility that we all carry in setting the right example for those around us. Everything that we do is seen by others. We would be wise to remember that little tidbit as someone is always watching, and probably recording it as well. The words we use, the things we do, and the way we carry ourselves will be seen by others. Live life understanding that your friends, your younger cousins, teachers, parents, and strangers will be watching. 

I do not want you to be afraid of someone seen anything or feeling overwhelmed by that reality. No. I want you to rise to the challenge and set the example. I want you to be a leader and blaze a trail that others will follow. Be brave, be smart, be yourself, and let the world see how to live life. It is something that I try my hardest to live up to as well. I hope that you see in me a man that is loving and caring, loves to learn, who strives to get better every day, that wants to see those around him succeed. That is the example that I want to set. I want you to see the trail that I have blazed and go farther than I ever thought possible. 

I do my best to set an example worthy of your eyes in the hopes that you learn from me, that you find inspiration, and that ultimately you do better than I did. Set the bar higher as there are no limits to the things that you can accomplish. Consider what you see me do as the starting line to what you can do. Build upon this foundation so that you can live out your dreams. This morning you told me what you want to do when you grow up, where you would like to work before starting your own company. At your age you are already poised to do better than your old man. I am proud and happy about that.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Petty Things

There are things in life that are important. There are many others that are not. Sometimes it is hard to tell the two apart. Success and happiness in life oftentimes depends upon our ability to tell which is which.

I categorize the unimportant things as petty things. Do not waste time on petty things as they will sap you of energy, opportunity, and happiness. Focus on what is important... What is important you might be asking as you read this. 

You decide what is important. No one else can decide for you. That is not to say that many won't be telling you, advising you, preaching to you what you ought to consider important. Listen to them, think about it, then decide for yourself.

Friday, November 11, 2016


Some sort of cosmic coincidence or a message from up above. Merely minutes after having a discussion about how parenting affects what your kids appreciate things where we specifically mentioned inviting your kids to stop and smell the flowers, look up at the stars, and enjoy the view this happened!

My baby ran out of the door at the sight of the golden and auburn hues of the sky as the sun set. As she did so she bellowed "I gotta see the sunset, it's beautiful!". As a father who wants nothing more than his daughter being able to appreciate all of the wonders that life has to offer where happiness does not require to be gift-wrapped I was over the moon with joy.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016



That you are special. Not because anyone says so, no, simply because you know yourself to be. I can tell you a million and one things with little effect. Some you will believe, some you will not. Many things you will find interesting, others quite the opposite. There will be things that you miss, others that you will latch onto. If there is one thing that I tell you that I would love, above all else, to believe and hold onto it is this...

You, Jamilah, are special. You are smart, caring, curious, passionate, funny, artistic, and to me a source of joy. 

Once you accept and believe that about yourself there will be no stopping you. There will not be a mountain that is too high for you to climb or a problem to difficult for you to overcome. The strength and potential within you will bubble up to the surface and lead you to great things once you do. It will open a new world that you never thought possible. How do I know? It happened to me once I decided that I would believe myself to be special. Heed the words of your father...


Saturday, October 3, 2015

A New You

Children are unlike adults. Whereas adults have settled into a "sameness" of character, thought, behavior, and of being children do not. Children are in flux. The child that went to school this morning will not be the child that will return. New information and experiences are constantly molding and shaping them.  It is important to remember that. As every mini crisis your child faces can have long lasting consequences in how you help them address it. Show patience, understanding, and most of all love. Hold their hands. Show them the way.

That is what I realized this week. While over the few years I have been the same "Papi" you knew from day one you have not been the same child. A different child every day, my daughter nonetheless. Today I do not understand why you do the little things that you do which yesterday were not of interest. Tomorrow your favorite foods will change. Yesterday was challenging in your reactions to seemingly trivial home life occurrences. Hard to remember those days for me. Yet I must for your sake. As your development takes you in all sorts of directions I want to be an anchor,  a rock of support that you can always return to.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Love is Everything

This is the one thought that comes to mind whenever I am around you. My day could be the worst I have ever had and a smile from you and I am all better. You have an incredible knack for making my life better. I think I do the same for you. It is incredible that at your age you have already figured out that love is everything you need... everything else is just gravy.