Editor in Chief
For Black History Month, I asked everyone on the Current Sauce staff to write about a Black person they admire. I was originally going to honor Ruby Bridges, but I wanted this series to be very personal.
I started thinking about the Black heroes I have when I got a phone call from my dad. I hadn’t heard from him in a while so when I answered the phone I was expecting a catch-up conversation. Instead, he fussed at me for something he had told me not to do. He hung up on me and I was upset the rest of the night, but he called me later and we both apologized to each other.
It made me realize how lucky I am to have the dad I have when some people don’t have a dad at all. As a Black man, he is someone I greatly admire.
My dad is my invisible hero, but I will never tell him how much I appreciate and adore him because he will say something to make it seem like my appreciation for him doesn’t matter.
My dad is hard to be around sometimes. His expectations are sky high, and it feels like everything I do will never be enough and maybe it won’t. Maybe everything is enough and it’s all in my head.
My dad worked two jobs my whole childhood to get my brothers and I through school. During the day, he worked as a glorified receptionist at a law firm. During the night, he worked at a hotel as the front desk receptionist. He quit the hotel job my sophomore year of college but eventually went back until COVID-19 caused him to be laid off for good.
My dad’s sleep schedule was slim to none, but he always made sure to sit at the table every night for dinner and ask about our days. He always made conversation and I could only tell he was tired when he had huge bags under his eyes.
I want to tell him I still pray for his safety every night before I go to sleep even though I know now that he’s sleeping in his bed next to my stepmom. He doesn’t have to drive into the city to work at the hotel anymore. I was always scared he would be hurt because I knew he was tired when he drove.
Working two jobs is hard and I will never forget that he did that. But the thing about a parent working more than one job is their children never get to see them. My dad made sure I got to see him. And I saw him every day.
My Mamacita, I could write a whole novel on what I’ve learned from my stepmother over the years. The thing I’ve learned the most is the lesson she never had to teach me: I am capable of being chosen for such an unconditional type of love.
She chose to love me even when I thought loving her would never be a possibility. She chose me as her daughter. I know God has chosen to love me and I’m eternally grateful of that, but Mamacita will let me sit in the kitchen while she cooks even though everyone in our house knows that’s her “me time.”
Being chosen to be loved unconditionally by someone means someone talking to you while they do the thing that brings them peace.
My dad, I want to be like him so bad. I want his personality and the way he can easily start a conversation. I have seen the way people get excited when he enters a room. I get excited when he gets home too. I will never tell him how interesting I think he is because I know he won‘t believe me.
My dad is very hard on my siblings, just as hard as he is with me. He graduated from the University of New Orleans with two bachelor’s degrees in business and marketing.
If he hadn’t had me, I think he would have been so successful. At 21, I’m sure he could have taken on anything in the world with one hand tied behind his back.
But he put his life on hold to make sure that I had one to fulfill. He held my hand to make sure I had a world to grow up in. He held back his curiosity so I could explore mine.
Don’t get me a wrong, I said he is a pain to be around and he is. He is the most dramatic person I’ve ever known, and he is so extremely loud that I think he has hearing problems because there is no way that a person can be so loud and so fast in a normal conversation.
His expectations are so high I was scared to tell him that I got the Editor-in-Chief position because I was afraid that he would think it wasn’t good enough.
I’m never going to tell him that my confidence comes from the way he always told me how cute of a kid I was or how much he loved me. I’m never going to admit that I consider my little sisters to be the luckiest girls in the world because they can cuddle with their dad at night and fall asleep with him on the couch without him being scared that he will be late for work.
I know for a fact that he would say something sarcastic and tell me that I need to stop acting like my life was so tragic because my parents divorced. But I think deep down, way deep down, he would believe me.
My dad taught me to be confident in myself, to make sure I saw my potential so others would see it too. Just from watching him get home from work to go to sleep to go back to work taught me perseverance and that taking care of your family is everything.
I don’t think my dad reads any of my work so I doubt he will see this, but I hope in some way that he knows I think these things about him. I hope he believes me.