@Forty Blog

@Forty Blog

Finding My Father While Preparing to Lose Him

Editor's note: This post was inspired by Modern Love, the New York Times column that explores "relationships, feelings, betrayals, and revelations." It contains passages from previously published posts. — March 27, 2021 — Over the past 15 years, I’ve lost and found my father several times. I first found him in 2006, when I arrived in the...

Finding My Father While Preparing to Lose HimJohnathon E. Briggs

Person of Interest: James Mosely – An Autistic Perspective Worth Reading

When James Mosely launched his website, “1 Autistic Perspective,” in January 2021, its title echoed a famous quote by Adelphi University professor Stephen Shore: “If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.” As Shore explained: “While the commonalities of people on the autism spectrum include differences in communication, social interaction,...

Person of Interest: James Mosely – An Autistic Perspective Worth ReadingJohnathon E. Briggs

The Five Questions Interview: Jamiyl Samuels – Teaching Confidence Through Superheroes

In his 2016 book "Pass the Torch," author Jamiyl Samuels opens with these five words: "My dad is my hero." It's only later does the reader learn the paradox behind that sentence: Samuels's father walked out on him and his mother when he was ten years old. This life-changing moment triggered anger and resentment within...

The Five Questions Interview: Jamiyl Samuels – Teaching Confidence Through SuperheroesJohnathon E. Briggs

“They Call Me Dad” Explores Dimensions of Black Fatherhood

— February 28, 2021 — Seeing yourself on television, with your family, during Black History Month, on a network created by Oprah Winfrey is surreal—even for a public relations professional like me accustomed to the cameras that come with publicity. Last week my wife and I sank into the comfort of our living room sofa, clicked...

“They Call Me Dad” Explores Dimensions of Black FatherhoodJohnathon E. Briggs

The Death I Expected Wasn’t the Death that Found Me

— December 29, 2020 — Thin and frail at 89, my father, Edward, lost his balance and fell on the grounds of his apartment complex in Inglewood, Calif. He spent ten days in a hospital before being discharged to a nursing home. This was October. My aunt (his sister), Linda, and I concluded that Edward could...

The Death I Expected Wasn’t the Death that Found MeJohnathon E. Briggs

A New, More Hopeful Chapter in America

— November 8, 2020 — I opened my front door Saturday morning to find a surprise on the porch: a 25-pound box containing an impressive selection of wines, including a merlot from Washington, a Pinot Noir from Argentina, and a Vinno Rosso from Italy. My wife and I were utterly confused: "Who sent this? Maybe...

A New, More Hopeful Chapter in AmericaJohnathon E. Briggs

The Talk: What Will I Tell My Black Child About Race?

— September 30, 2020 — I knew in advance of the interview that the question would be asked, but it still startled me when it was. Few Black fathers have a ready-made answer to: “When will you speak to your child about race? And what will you tell her?” This question came about in February, three...

The Talk: What Will I Tell My Black Child About Race?Johnathon E. Briggs

Person of Interest: Lola Dada-Olley – Not Your Mama’s Autism Podcast

By her own account, Lola Dada-Olley has lived with autism in some way, shape, or form for more than three-quarters of her life. Her baby brother was diagnosed with the developmental disorder at the age of three in 1989, a time when intensive behavior therapy was just beginning to show promise as a treatment. Then...

Person of Interest: Lola Dada-Olley – Not Your Mama’s Autism PodcastJohnathon E. Briggs

What I’m Reading: My August List of Books

In the midst of this pandemic, one of the things I've been grateful for (in addition to stable employment and good health) is having more time to sit down and read a book—thanks to the absence of a daily commute. When I was a journalist, I had an editor who often asked, "What'cha reading...

What I’m Reading: My August List of BooksJohnathon E. Briggs

A Fatherhood Flashback on My Daughter’s Birthday

— August 2, 2020 — Inside the giant gift bag emblazoned with balloons and a festive flamingo, laid a trove of dollar store treasures my wife had picked out for our daughter's 6th birthday. Among the items: a pair of 20-inch butterfly wings (with shoulder straps), two Slinkys, a Toy Story puzzle, a spiral notebook...

A Fatherhood Flashback on My Daughter’s BirthdayJohnathon E. Briggs

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About

Few may know this, but twice as many dads of newborns today are now in the 40-plus age group, compared to the 1970s. Six weeks before my 40th birthday, I became a first-time father, hence the title of this blog.

This life-changing moment made me think about my own dad, who became a father at 43. As my parenthood journey unfolded, I noticed that most of my friends had become parents earlier in life yet, here I was, changing diapers and battling sleep deprivation at (nearly) 40. I told my wife, “Parenting is definitely a young man’s game.” But is it really?

Where most of my friends were preparing for their children’s middle and high school graduations, I was mastering the art of the swaddle, perfecting the one-hand baby wipe, and learning to decipher my daughter’s gurgles and whimpers. It occurred to me that I had so much more to offer my daughter at the sure-footed age of 40 than I did at, say, 28, when I was still coming into my own.

Fatherhood@Forty: Dispatches from the Parent Hood™ is a creative outlet to share my experiences and connect with other (relatively) late-in-life dads.

Here are a few factoids about me, Johnathon Briggs, the editor behind this blog:

  • I’m a former journalist (Los Angeles Times, The Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune).
  • I love exploring Chicago and the Midwest with my family.
  • I remain on a constant quest to stay fit.
  • I support charities that fight HIV, uplift families affected by incarceration, and ensure African American boys graduate from college.
  • I’m a comic book geek (mostly Marvel, but a bit of DC and Image Comics).
  • I’m a child of the ‘80s, so please expect occasional references to the Golden Age of Hip-Hop.

As a reporter for daily newspapers, I had the opportunity to interview fascinating people and to test out great products and brands for my readers. I hope to do the same for you as I blog about the moments that make up this adventure called fatherhood.

Feel free to tweet (@fatherhoodforty) or email (fatherhoodforty@gmail.com) me if you’d like to collaborate or have ideas for a blog post.

Father on,

P.S. Check out The Art of Conversation podcast interview I did with Art Eddy from Life of Dad.

 


Disclaimer: Fatherhood@Forty may contain affiliate marketing links, which may result in commission on sales of products or services I write about. My editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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Finding My Father While Preparing to Lose Him

Person of Interest: James Mosely – An Autistic Perspective Worth Reading

The Five Questions Interview: Jamiyl Samuels – Teaching Confidence Through Superheroes

“They Call Me Dad” Explores Dimensions of Black Fatherhood

The Death I Expected Wasn’t the Death that Found Me

A New, More Hopeful Chapter in America

The Talk: What Will I Tell My Black Child About Race?

Person of Interest: Lola Dada-Olley – Not Your Mama’s Autism Podcast

What I’m Reading: My August List of Books

A Fatherhood Flashback on My Daughter’s Birthday

View More

About

Few may know this, but twice as many dads of newborns today are now in the 40-plus age group, compared to the 1970s. Six weeks before my 40th birthday, I became a first-time father, hence the title of this blog.

This life-changing moment made me think about my own dad, who became a father at 43. As my parenthood journey unfolded, I noticed that most of my friends had become parents earlier in life yet, here I was, changing diapers and battling sleep deprivation at (nearly) 40. I told my wife, “Parenting is definitely a young man’s game.” But is it really?

Where most of my friends were preparing for their children’s middle and high school graduations, I was mastering the art of the swaddle, perfecting the one-hand baby wipe, and learning to decipher my daughter’s gurgles and whimpers. It occurred to me that I had so much more to offer my daughter at the sure-footed age of 40 than I did at, say, 28, when I was still coming into my own.

Fatherhood@Forty: Dispatches from the Parent Hood™ is a creative outlet to share my experiences and connect with other (relatively) late-in-life dads.

Here are a few factoids about me, Johnathon Briggs, the editor behind this blog:

  • I’m a former journalist (Los Angeles Times, The Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune).
  • I love exploring Chicago and the Midwest with my family.
  • I remain on a constant quest to stay fit.
  • I support charities that fight HIV, uplift families affected by incarceration, and ensure African American boys graduate from college.
  • I’m a comic book geek (mostly Marvel, but a bit of DC and Image Comics).
  • I’m a child of the ‘80s, so please expect occasional references to the Golden Age of Hip-Hop.

As a reporter for daily newspapers, I had the opportunity to interview fascinating people and to test out great products and brands for my readers. I hope to do the same for you as I blog about the moments that make up this adventure called fatherhood.

Feel free to tweet (@fatherhoodforty) or email (fatherhoodforty@gmail.com) me if you’d like to collaborate or have ideas for a blog post.

Father on,

P.S. Check out The Art of Conversation podcast interview I did with Art Eddy from Life of Dad.

 


Disclaimer: Fatherhood@Forty may contain affiliate marketing links, which may result in commission on sales of products or services I write about. My editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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