Visions Of Pappyhood

Courtesy of Alex Hardy
Courtesy of Alex Hardy

It wasn't always this way.

Last year, I could scroll down my Facebook timeline past the cats-are-assholes videos and the fire-and-brimstone warnings against using people's public content on a public site and not get tripped up by a video of a dancing, diaper-clad chocolatey wonder.


I could walk down the street and not melt into a puddle of swoons watching adorable Black kids talk, play and laugh with their parents.

Before, I could watch a video of somebody's kids dancing for their motherfucking lives in a talent show performance of Saint Damita Jo's "Rhythm Nation" and enjoy its melinated splendor without fantasizing about my own squad (okay, maybe three) of dancing-ass, dish-washing little multilingual kings and queens with great manners and legendary eyelashes.

But now?

Tagging me in a video of somebody's Black ass child emoting or singing or out-rhyhming their peers is a sure way to send the days's productivity from 100 to -861, like French Montana to Sanaa Lathan's likability. I now have to fight the urge to roll on the floor in jubilation when I see a Black chile who’s joyful or innovative or prodigious in this hateful, coleslaw-loving world.

Most days, my wall is a living tribute to Black childhood. (A friend recently wondered why I don't have any white babies on my pages. My answer: “Because I post what matters to me, and plus, White babies are doing just fine without my advocacy.”)

Since spending five months in New Orleans eating and playing Uncle Alex to the most precious lima bean in the world, my love of little Black humans runneth over. I met Fat Mama about thirty minutes after she entered this world and got to watch her grow from a hella yella poop machine to an emoting, scooting señorita who happily received the gospel of Yo Gabba Gabba. Once I mastered cradling her in my arms and dancing her unruly ass to sleep, which happened right before she began to recognize and smile at me, I was sold and once again open to the idea of going half on a singing group with someone.


Fat Mama allowed me to relive my fascination with watching little lima beans become whole damn people, which I first discovered while watching my nieces grow from poop-launchers to job-having women. (They turned 17 and 18 last week and I felt at once ancient, protective and elated.) I got to enjoy the beautiful part, before she goes out into the world to interact with defenseless mongrels whose parents enjoy Eminem, green bean casserole and incest. If only this sweet spot could last forever.

I've had a great fatherly example. My dad is the coolest, most chill motherfucker ever. He is and has always been attentive, honest, level-headed, patient and gracious. He has been the rock, keeping it and us together throughout my mother's decades-long lupus fight, my year-long lupus fight and my sister's recent health issues. He's surprisingly open minded and supportive of my wanderlust and endless curiosity. That dude is the ultra chill Uncle Snoop in a room of frantic, fart-faced Mileys. He and my mom are the best pair of motherfuckers a Black boy could ever have as parents. I long for the day I get to be brilliant and strong and supportive for a nappy headed strong and brilliant chile of my own.


I am giddy at the prospect of educating a young mind on the beauty of travel, the magic of books and the terrors of sugared grits. I look forward to sharing the glory of Anita Baker and Janet Jackson and 70s Aretha and raising releasing one less fruit punch enthusiast unto the world.

Because fruit punch is stupid.

I know that one can never be absolutely READY for parenthood, because you can always have more money, a bigger nursery and more baby Jordans. Plus, how can one truly prepare for their kid's first crush, first heartbreak or first felony? I am excited about the adventure, though.


Sure, as a full-time HomoThug, I'll have to find a suitable, rentable womb in which to marinate Young Melanin, but I have a handful of breasted homies who have offered their motherly crockpots for the cause. Upside of ending my career as a fisherman? Zero chance of accidental semen drippity drops, unless you catch me in the mood a full moon on the 13th Sunday in a leap year. Hooray for fewer surprise babies in the world.  I'm in no rush, though; I want to feel like less of a scatterbrained hedonist before giving into this relentless pappyhood itch. I often toss out ages like 33 and 35, projecting an end to my aintshitness.

Until I'm ready to be somebody's pappy, I get to play Uncle and godfather to a whole heap of fortunate chirrens. In the interim, I have been offering my wonderful childcare services so my offspring-having homies can enjoy a night of unencumbered debauchery and ho-shit, giving me the chance to lay on the floor to build Lego castles and fight Bowser once more…and have a quick reality check when Lil Anfernee won't stop crying after I spank his ass in Mario Kart for the sixth time.


Watching my dad parent and considering the Fuckshit my sister and I put our folks through, I know that the journey isn't all Popeye's biscuits and joy. Still, bring on the angst and the pride and the drama and the nepotism.

And the in-house dishwashers.

Alexander Hardy is a wordsmith, mental health advocate, dancer, lupus survivor, and co-host of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Alexander does not believe in snow or Delaware.



The baby fever is real! My neicey pooh (also nicknamed Fat Mama lol) is making motherhood seem so real to me.

Every time I hold her I promise I start to ovulate.

Also, you just gave me soo much life I can't even quote it all, but….

"I got to enjoy the beautiful part, before she goes out into the world to interact with defenseless mongrels whose parents enjoy Eminem, green bean casserole and incest."

DEAD bol