My Beloved Osito,
This may not mean anything to you now, and if you’re anything like me, this will not mean anything to you until you’re grown or until I’m gone. To be completely honest with you, in this present moment, this is more for me than for you. In time, you will have a clear understanding of my motivation behind this. But, until you have that moment of introspection and an epiphany occurs, I will attempt to guide you with my writing. I will start by explaining the names in this blog and then its purpose. The history behind the name Osito is two-fold. First, your mom used to refer to your Abuela (Madre) as Mama Bear. Once you were born, she passed the torch to your mom and you became our little cub. Instead of “cub”, you became Osito while I was learning to speak Spanish and it was one of my vocabulary words. Outerspacedad is more of a double entendre. First, I was never a space nerd, but the Air Force turned me into one. My first assignment was at Cape Canaveral AFS/Kennedy Space Center and I followed that with a tour at Johnson Space Center. This is where my admiration for space launched and soon took orbit (I know you see what I did there). The second meaning is not that amusing. As a black American dad that is taking an active role in his child’s life, I am unfortunately seen as rarity or as an alien from outer space. My prayer is that through this blog I can help to eliminate that stereotype and offset the absentee dad trend within the time you start reading this.
Now for the purpose of this blog! The purpose came to me 7 days after your first birthday. After months and months of strategic planning and scheming with your grandma (Mama), we were able to convince/remind your granddad (Pops), that they were coming to Houston for your first birthday and he was going to celebrate his birthday here as well. I will address the “convincing/reminding” topic on a later post. While celebrating Pops’ 70th birthday, reality came in like a wrecking ball (I pray you never catch this reference) and I realized that he would not be in my corner forever. While sitting on the couch watching baseball, just like when I was a kid, I asked him “what do you think is the key to being a good dad?” His response was simply “be there for [Osito]”. Pops, again, was able to sum up something that had been weighing on me heavily into a simple concept. Later that night, while reflecting on his clear instruction, I instinctively began reminiscing on my childhood and all the times Pops was there for me and when I saw him there for one of your 5 uncles. During this time of reflection, I quickly realized that my childhood will shape your childhood. Because of this, I felt obligated to give you a better understanding of my childhood and how specific life events will impact my guidance to you. While I admittedly don’t know everything and you will not like everything I do, just remember that I love you and I will always be there for you as Pops was there for me.
P.S. If I’m not fluent in Spanish by the time you read this, I owe you one.
Love you to “Infinity…and Beyond”