On this day eight years ago I made my first post on fatherdad.com. That was the first ever post by a black “daddy blogger.” I searched high and low for one before I determined that I was it. I think that post is a hilariously bad and somewhat profound (and very much unnoticed) internet milestone. Before that first post, and before internet search became a mathematically advanced algorithm with the efficiency of a black widow spider on Adderall, searching for a “black daddy” got you some very NSFW images (and that acronym did not exist then either so you were not forewarned).
Last year I migrated the blog here in an effort to keep it alive. I have this nagging desire to be more prolific, and to keep telling some version of my story, but I find that too much blogging about family often keeps you from the very thing you are blogging about. That may be because each word I write is effort and painful, so it takes me longer than most to get 500-1000 words on a screen. That makes my time writing quite noticeable. My wife would tell you that I do everything slowly and my wife is always right. Maybe I am just turtling through life instead of hurtling.
I also find that while eight years ago blogging was new and cutting-edge, now it’s kind of bland and watered down. I am not as inspired as I once was by the newness and quality of the early work of many bloggers. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of great writers and thinkers out there. It’s just that now too many of them are getting drowned out by celebrity gossip and phonies.
The good ol’ days are gone and to some degree I am ok with that because growth is important and valuable, even for the internet. But as I look back on the blog and the express growth of my son, part of my heart pangs for the days of the tiny apartment I wrote from, the tantrums of my toddler and the fun of being a young dad/husband without much of a plan. Now with my son turning 11 last month and a bunch of other changes on the horizon I am optimistic about the future, while still appreciating the past.
Even now as I write this I can’t help but think about one of the biggest moments from the past: when my parents divorced. It just dawned on me that I was the age my son is now. That means I am in uncharted territory. I didn’t have an active father when I was 11 so I am not sure what to do next. I know there are plenty of dads out there in my same boat. Maybe that’s why I took the time to slowly write this almost 500 word birthday post.