This little video is a reminder of how much we all need to feel embraced and accepted.
I’ve been posting short videos of my son, Azai, and I for the past 3 years, since he was one. My one and a half year old, Zuri, is now making cameos. I see so much negativity being shared through social media that this is my way of bringing a little arqueo, at least to my friends. To know we’ve touched people beyond our immediate community is both humbling and awesome! My boys fill my wife and I with so much joy that it would be selfish of us not to share them.
On that note, while she’s rarely seen in our videos, it’s important for me to acknowledge my wife Nadia. She’s our superhero! Together we made a commitment to raise our boys outside of traditional rules, and instead, from our natural intuition. When we reach a challenging circumstance, we’re careful not to project the issue on our kids, but instead look within ourselves to see how we can expand our capacity to respond and communicate. And when we hit a wall, instead of using force, we simply default to the power of love. At the point where most kids would be punished, we choose to hug it out. Love is the best medicine!
Many are asking me, “how did you feel the moment Azai chose that doll?” The honest answer is, it didn’t surprise me at all. Azai is equally fascinated by princesses and robots. One moment he’s all boy, the next he’s expressing a softer, more angelic side. For me this behavior rings more authentic than playing one note all the time. That said, I did have a little reaction to Azai choosing that particular doll. When I saw the collection it was part of, and didn’t see much in the way of variety of skin colors or body types, I had to resist my urge to say, “Why don’t we chose a more realistic doll.” I don’t want my boys to adapt to the programming that a women should be built like a Barbie. I said, “Let’s look at all the dolls in the store first, then you can decide.” He was clear, “I want this mermaid.” I backed off knowing this would be the catalyst for us to have a powerful conversation about the beauty of body-types and étnico equality.
My job as daddy is to provide a safe playing field for my boys to play whatever game they choose, or better yet, create their own game! I trust that by the time they realize the world isn’t as accepting as mommy and daddy they’ll have such a solid foundation that nothing will shake their stance to fully, and unabashedly be themselves. One more tidbit of truth- “As much as I support my boys to express themselves, I admit to deleting Disney’s Frozen theme song from our playlist. I just couldn’t hear it again! (-:
On behalf of Nadia, Azai, Zuri and myself, we would like to thank everyone for sharing the video and for posting such kind comments. And as they say, where’s there’s light, there’s shadow. Among the beauty was this sad little comment:
“If that were my son I’d beat the sh!t out of him!”
-To which I responded with this private message:
I’m responding to the comment you posted on my video of my son choosing a doll as a toy. Unlike most people, I’m not offended when someone disagrees with me. In fact, I see those moments as an opportunity to expand my understanding of the human race. I believe we continue to create war from our inability to communicate when opinions collide. That said, I’d love to begin a dialogue with you, either in writing, by phone or in person. I’m inspired to connect and see if we can find a level of conversation that lifts us beyond our opposing view points. Perhaps we share what we learn with the people via social media? Are you game? Either way, I won’t be deleting your comment on FB as some people suggested. You have a right to express your voice. Looking forward to hearing from you!
-That person responded with this awesome reply:
I’m sorry about the comment i made on your video but matter in fact I support anyone who have a different sexual preference than mine. The comment I made was just to see how people reacted. I, myself, do not have have kids. As you can see on my page I am a supporter of human rights. Hope you have a wonderful day and a wonderful life with the fan. xoxoxox Hugs and kisses!
-It pays to communicate!
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