Fatherhood

A Juneteenth Father’s Day: The Meaning of Emancipation for Black Dads

— June 13, 2021 — Ever since the nation's first Fathers' Day was celebrated in 1910, the "day for dads" has occasionally shared the same date as Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States: June 19. This observation ordinarily would be little more than a coincidence of the calendar. But in...

A Juneteenth Father’s Day: The Meaning of Emancipation for Black DadsJohnathon E. Briggs

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

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

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

Preparing for a School Year Like No Other

— July 19, 2020 — The long-awaited email from our local school district arrived the evening of July 13 with a generic subject line that underscored the importance of its content: “2020-2021 Return to Learn Plan.” Ever since schools closed nationwide in March to help halt the spread of novel coronavirus, my wife and I—like millions...

Preparing for a School Year Like No OtherJohnathon 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.

A Juneteenth Father’s Day: The Meaning of Emancipation for Black Dads

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

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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