I interview my other half on Fathers Day. His take on parenthood, his spirit animal and why my slippers keep disappearing.
tap tap tap
A little hand knocks on our bedroom door and our eyes crack open. Its 8 AM and our two-year old son is awake. Hes crept across the hallway, gripping his blue elephant (named affectionately monkey) and his eyes have just shaken off the remains of sleep as he requests to be lifted up onto our bed. On mornings my husband hasnt risen at the crack of dawn and commuted to San Francisco for work the only thing he wants to do is sleep. But Orion has one request and nothing else will do Daddy. They press their faces together and say good morning and my husband sleepily wrestles him into a fit of giggles.
Fathers Day is pretty mellow round these parts. My husband is in the garage doing one of the things he loves most fucking around with paint and a canvas. Our son is taking a nap, and the day seems to lay still before us. I reflect on the kind of father Saalik has become, the kind of man he is. The other day he spent an afternoon at our neighborhood park teaching a gaggle of 9 and 10 year-olds how to do backflips and front flips. They were almost as obsessed with him as I have been for the past five years. Hes gravitational.
What animal sound best represents your spirit?
an eagle. or definitely a bird of prey. not that i prey on people, but just thats what i feel is inside of me. that kind of power and hunger.
Why does it seem so rare to meet a black man who was raised by a strong and loving father?
our society breeds that kind of energy. its really a product of black men being forced to carry a lot of anger and a lot of pressure. so fatherhood can be hard to really master and understand for some. it takes a lot of effort. the reality of it is most of us may not have a perfectly loving relationship with our fathers but our fathers are strong individuals who have endured a lot. i have respect for my own despite the hardships ive gone through with him.
What do you think about when youre alone in your car?
my own ascension. or a lyric im trying to figure out.
What song best describes you?
umi says by most def.
What song best describes our son?
just cant wait to be king from the lion king. for sure.
Whats your spirit animal?
im back to the eagle. i feel like flying is a big thing for me. that kind of freedom and that kind of power. not many things can touch you. i think about all the things eagles get to see from their view. what an amazing life.
Who are the some of the people who have made an impact on you?
jackson pollock. his art work is amazing to me controlled chaos. bruce lee. any and everybody that I meet and hold some type of decent conversation with.
Favorite thing to eat if you only have $5?
a burrito from el farolito in the mission district.
Whats your earliest memory of Orion?
realizing that he looked like mr. magoo the day he was born.
Why do you keep stealing my slippers?
its a plot to drive you nuts. then theyll be mine for good.
What advice do you wish you had received when you were 18 years old?
to go away to college. i feel like had I done that I would have done a lot more traveling earlier in life.
What advice would you give Orion when he turns 18?
dont have kids until youve started achieving your dreams. follow your passions.
Whats your favorite curse word?
What 90s era dance would you perform in front of a crowd for $500?
good ole running man.
Whats your latest memory of Orion?
when he almost poked his eye out fifteen seconds ago. but my fondest memories of him are always when hes speaking like an adult. hilarious and very impressive.