I have the chance to see the process of (my son’s) development, as he comes into his own independence. I impart knowledge to him so he can be an active thinker and great contributor in life. I love hearing him talk and seeing parts of me in him. My father was so involved in my life, gave me value, and taught me how to attack life. I give him credit for teaching me how to be social, take responsibility for my actions, and be aware of what I’m doing and how it will affect society and people. He is always volunteering and people respect him in the community. He has been my No. 1 role model every step of the way, always persistent in my life.
I love the experience of having a tiny little baby, seeing them grow, doing funny and cute things, and witnessing every step. When I work long hours, or come home in a bad mood, the moment I see my babies, I forget about everything else. I get emotional thinking about them growing up and where they are going to end up in life. When I think about my Grandpa Yusuf, I don’t know how he did it. He grew up without parents, was very poor, and worked extremely hard. He never took a vacation his entire life and raised nine boys, all of whom now have such a sense of togetherness. The community always respected him and, even to this day, people say they wished they had kids like his.
I love the emotional parallels between gardening and parenting: to rediscover and appreciate the concept of nonlinear time. We test the pH of our daughter’s environment (neighborhood, city, school), introduce nutrients (food ways, our cultures, personal philosophies), and expose her to light sources (nature, entertainment, skills, problem solving). Every moment in her presence reminds me that parenthood is part of a continuum. She is, at once, a clarifying agent and the softener of edges. My inspirations for fatherhood are all the men in my life who have shown that gentleness, firmness, a sense of humor, and forgiveness are the cornerstones to being a decent human being.
Kent: We love seeing our boys discover new things about their world and themselves. Parenting is an extraordinary blend of joy, challenge, and responsibility that, for the longest time, we didn’t think would be a reality for us.
Diego: Even those inevitable days when parenting is really hard, we embrace how lucky we are to be parenting our boys. We both draw upon a broad community for inspiration and support, including our parents, siblings, close friends, and others who blazed the trail and guided us to where we are.
Kent: We also embrace the responsibility we have to be role models for others, especially families like ours.