Giving People Flowers While They Can Still Smell Them

I’m back like I never left. What it do babieeeeee? I’m fresh off single dad weekend (more on that later) and not feeling too refreshed. Enough about me for now, even though me will more than likely be the subject at hand in the next few paragraphs. While I have your eyes pouring over my words on whatever device you’re utilizing, I wanted to give someone their flowers while they can still smell them. I’m sending virtual flowers to Nikole Hannah-Jones, an investigative journalist and staff writer for the New York Times. Nikole’s work focuses on racial injustices and her journalism has won her numerous awards. It’s important that I highlight her for the amazing piece, The 1619 Project, that beautifully summarizes how Black Americans truly made America a democracy. I encourage everyone to take the time to read it no matter your background. 

Speaking of flowers, I have all the bountiful blossoms in the world for all of you moms. Your jobs are challenging, thankless, and often expected. My sincerest appreciation and admiration for everything you all do. This past weekend Julia left me for the other love of her life, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Like any jilted lover, I was equal parts anxious and angry. How dare she abandon me to do something worthwhile for our community and herself?!? The nerve of her to surround herself with some of the most accomplished and ambitious like-minded women who put service before themselves. I wasn’t trying to hear all that though. My thoughts were on the eight year old and almost four year old that were left in my care. It’s not the longest time my wife has been away from home while I’ve had to rough it out with the crumb snatchers, but it felt like it was the first all over again.

Even with the glue that holds our small family together gone for the weekend, I had a dope time with the kiddos. Friday night we ordered pizza, drank soda (sorry babe), and watched Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus. I don’t know if you caught on just yet, but this was a wild night for us. All three of us knew we were dead wrong for chugging all of that carbonated sugar water. Mom was gone, so no rules! After the kids fell asleep a little after 10pm, I went downstairs to spend some time with my two mistresses: PS4 and Tidal. Let me tell you, you couldn’t find a better threesome on Pornhub.

Saturday was just as exciting. I got us tickets to visit Nickelodeon’s Slime City in Buckhead and try to connect with Mikey from the Ninja Turtles. That was a failed mission, but definitely worth the effort. No worries though, we all know Leonardo is the best out. Fight me if you think differently. I don’t know who enjoyed the tour more, the kids or me. As an older millennial, the experience gave me nostalgia feels from the earlier 90s when SNICK ruled all our lives. Between touching slime, making slime, and being slimed, it was time to go home for lunch then a nap. After a well rested afternoon, it was time to get back in the streets. We did plenty of shopping like we always do for various reasons, but I always have the strangest encounters or situations when it’s just the kids and I out in public. People tend to give us extra compliments, give me approving glances, and even offer to help. It’s awkward to say the least. I remember taking Zora to Thumb’s Up Diner about five years ago for a daddy-daughter breakfast date and us practicing our counting using the small packets of butter on the table. When it came for me to ask for the check, I was told by our waitress that it was paid for by a guest that wanted to remain anonymous. I was parts grateful and parts shocked by the loving gesture. I’ve been stopped in the mall by random people asking if they could help with anything as I’ve shopped while Garvey chilled in his stroller. All wonderful things, that I definitely don’t take lightly. In my very limited experience, I just don’t see these same niceties being offered to mothers while out with their children alone. 

It’s almost commonplace in our society to expect mothers to just tough it out. There’s usually no free meals at restaurants paid for by patrons for single moms. As I said, this is all in my small experiences and those things could very much happen. I don’t it and I sure don’t hear about it. Fathers get so much praise for often just doing the bare minimum. I get up early every morning and cook breakfast for my kids then take care of them in the evenings with bath time and a book read. Though I do a little more than that, I don’t feel like that’s anything I should necessarily receive accolades for doing. Women often do those things and much more. Often while juggling a career, working on a degree, and strive to be their best selves. It’s inspiring to me to watch moms, particularly single moms, accomplish so much even while raising multiple children. 

When you have the time and resources, do something nice for the mother in your life, whoever she may be to you. Throw a little something on the cash app, plan a day at the spa, or even pay for lunch for someone you don’t know. They’ll appreciate it. While your at it, check in on that dad who you know is with the kids solo. As men, we’re not always as vulnerable when it comes to addressing our plights or shortcomings, but a simple text goes a long way. Finally, when you see me out in the streets with the kids, feel free to still give me a head nod. I probably don’t need it, but I’ll take it any way.