Sign in

LEVEL
Higher Learning. A publication from Medium for the interested man.

Family

In LEVEL. More on Medium.

Stay calm and ask your kid these three questions

Photo: Pexels.com

My son is screaming at the top of his lungs. It’s as if I’ve ripped away all that matters to him in the world.


The pros and cons of raising a preteen

Photo by Kaysha on Unsplash

I was trolling TikTok for laughs one day when I stumbled upon a video of a guy doing a “review” of his newborn baby boy. This dude was visibly delighted with his two-month-old offspring — he said the boy only cost him a few “grown-up transactions” — and encouraged others to get one, too.

Now, I got a good chuckle from the breakdown, which played like an unboxing video. That’s a shiny new baby, fresh out of the box. What’s not to like?


Some will say America is better than this — it’s not

Photo of an adult’s hand holding a baby’s hand.
Photo of an adult’s hand holding a baby’s hand.
Photo by Aditya Romansa on Unsplash

For the longest time, whenever my mother dreamed of a baby, she’d call me to talk about my future children. She’d describe in vivid detail the child’s mix of features, curly hair, and fat cheeks. If she saw a blonde baby, she’d ask if I was dating una rubia, or someone possessing whatever other characteristics she knew didn’t exist in me. The answer was always a resounding no. No, I wasn’t dating una rubia. No, I wasn’t even thinking about kids.


It was a year of loss, but that’s not the only thing he’ll learn

Photo: Unsplash

In March 2020, my wife and I went on our last date outside the house. Here’s the story I want to tell my son about that night and all that happened during his first year of life.


Dear Level

In the words of Ginuwine: ‘Ain’t none of your friends’ business’

Photo Illustration of phone with angry emoji and heart texts. Boxing gloves in the background.
Photo Illustration of phone with angry emoji and heart texts. Boxing gloves in the background.
Photo illustration: Save As/Medium; source: Getty Images

Last year, my partner and I hit a rough patch. It’s a time I refer to as The Terrible, God Awful, Very Bad Fourth Year. Miraculously, we survived it, both different and better for the wear we endured. What did not fare well after the roller-coaster dip, though, was our friends’ and families’ feelings about our relationship.


It’s time for some early spring cleaning

Photo: jidaley/pixabay.com/FreeIMG

I was only four years old when my family left the U.S. Virgin Islands to pursue the mainland American dream in Florida. Since then, I’ve been back just once, for my cousin’s wedding in 1994. I’m sure it was a beautiful ceremony, but I don’t recall much about the nuptials other than something the bride’s father, my uncle, said during his reception speech. He warned the local guests — particularly the ones prominent in business, as he was — not to allow White people to disrupt the Black heritage of the island of St. Thomas and infringe upon their Black…


Sometimes, for fathers who abandon their children, there’s no coming back

Photo: Adam Hester

In my first book, Confessions of a Video Vixen, I graphically chronicled a four-year abusive relationship with my son’s biological father, Nathaniel, professionally known as Kool G Rap, one of hip-hop’s most formidable artists of yesteryear. There’s no time to go through the whole sordid affair, so for context, here are the CliffsNotes.


Every father hopes to see his son surpass him. But did it have to happen so soon?

Photo: Nick David/Getty Images

My 12-year-old son keeps challenging me to hand-to-hand combat. First, we move the coffee table and place a few pillows so that no one loses an eye or needs stitches; then we wrestle in the living room.


Our long journey to adoption shifted into light speed once we found our birth mother

Photo: courtesy of author

Moms. They’re the beginning for all of us.


In some ways, I feel like I’m just getting started. Don’t wait until you feel the same.

Photo: courtesy of the author

As I write this I am turning 50. The plan is to spend my semi-century in bed — or, if I’m feeling cosmopolitan, on the couch. Lying prone is not how I normally spend birthdays, but it is how I will be spending this one. It is not a pandemic-based decision; it is an If-I-Must resignation.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store