The Stare (Entire Chapter from Daddy Everyday, Rewriting The Black American Dad Story)

The Stare                                                                                          

This “stare” occurs almost on a daily basis. The length of the stare varies but mostly depends on how long it takes for my son, Kendrick to realize I’m staring at him and for him to react. Many different things go through my mind as I am engaged in the stare. At times I am in amazement of how a little boy can be so noisy and loud when he is playing and the destruction and chaos he brings to each room he stands in for more than five minutes. I have peeped how he first comes into the room I am in and asks what I am doing. To be honest it doesn’t matter what I am doing, his plan is already in motion. He will leave the room and return with a toy or two. And leave them. Kendrick then returns with even more toys and begins to play. For the most part I try to ignore him, then he picks up the volume of his play. This is when the stare begins. I listen to his words as he plays. The language he uses and the various scenarios he uses for his action figures. There was a time when he wasn’t able to speak or even hold up his toys to play. Realizing how much he has grown is nothing short of miracle, at least in my mind. Often this stare moment is interrupted when he makes eye contact with me and then comes over to me. He moves one of my hands from my Mac, I’m always on my laptop, and sits in my lap. He will then tell me he loves me and I let know I love him too. This same scenario happens often but some of the times he is just simply too loud and before the stare can begin, I tell him to stop all that loud mess or I send him out the room                                                 

There are other “stares” that make me feel sad and so powerless. One of the most vulnerable and difficult situations parents can be in is when their child is sick. When Kendrick was born, his legs were bent upward with his feet touching his head. This occurs when the baby shifts positions during the delivery procedure. So for the next couple of weeks we had to position his legs downward and then wrap him so they would stay in that position. Never did I think this would affect his life, I knew he legs would return to their normal position. After that experience, I knew Kendrick could overcome anything. So, of course when he is sick, it’s not I hope he gets better, it’s he will get better. However, when he is sick, it’s the hardest day of my life. I can give him medicine and hold him, but nothing seems to make it any easier for him or me. When he was a baby I would just “stare” at him while he was trying to sleep his illness off. He was such a tough little baby, handling his illness better than me. I was wishing I could take on his sick feeling myself. I still feel that way now when he is sick. However, as he got older, he was able to vocalize feelings of being sick. Somehow, my overdramatic and very imaginative son can make me laugh and sad at the same time when he is sick. Because I think he is a destined actor, he acts out what it is to be sick or hurt which makes it hard to diagnose how sick he is. I “stare” at him to see how his play, TV watching and everything else is, to see how sick he is. When he sees me looking at him, he then plays up the sickness, by coughing or acting as if he is so exhausted. He just wants to be held and I have no problem with accommodating him.