Tag Archives: birthday

31

I’m no longer 30; now I’m in my thirties.

30 began and ended the same way: my day-job cutting my contract short days before I began a new year. While disheartening, it is a blessing in disguise.

I was feeling a down during my final lunch break. In spite of my hesitance, I went with my gut reaction and called my place of solace.  I asked if they had a moment to listen, and told them in a nonchalant tone “This is my emotional voice,” before  began to vent.

“I get tired of being treated as if I’m not human,” I lamented over the phone. My frustration wasn’t primarily with being let go or its timing; it was with constantly being treated as if I don’t have feelings.

I vented “People often feel as if they can say any and everything to me because things don’t ruffle my feathers. Because I don’t get mad, they tend to back off, thinking that every time they do something [that could hurt my feelings], they react a certain way, thinking that this will be the time I finally get mad.” After being heard, we prayed for 15 minutes before I went back into the office.

The next morning, I prayed to God to open me up in a manner that I take a step towards my future. After a conversation with my cousin, Brian, a seed was planted. “Cuz” explained  God throws things up in the air and it is up to us to carry them out. If we do not, God will leave it there and someone else will complete His task. “This is why we have million-dollar ideas and another person comes up with what we were thinking,” he said. An internal light bulb went off in my head.

Two hours later, a friend of mine texted to ask if I would like to come by their place and write. I immediately replied “On my way.” I drove from my Long Island to to Manhattan. En route, I passed by my former place of employment around 1:30 PM. I looked at the building and thought to myself “Yesterday, I was in this same area, articulating how I felt. Right now, I would be on break, aimlessly driving around this area, waiting to clock out. But today, I have an idea and God has a plan much bigger than that office.”

The past two weeks have been filled with uneasy thoughts, feelings, and anxiety. I prayed for an open heart as a means to process emotions and that’s what happened. For the first time in a very long time, I felt sadness, anger, loneliness and didn’t shrug them off. I needed this in order to grow, even if it felt-and still feels-uncomfortable.

When their shell gets too small, lobsters hide under a rock until they have generated a larger exoskeleton. More or less, this is why I have hardly written anything on this site. In spite of being an uncharacteristic ball of emotions, I am quite happy. There is a lot to be thankful for.

There was a brief moment in which allowing myself to feel caused a brief moment of anxiety. I apologized to the person and explained that I was not excusing my actions; nonetheless, processing emotions past “Chad, don’t take things personally. People do shit based on their own experiences,” is a relatively foreign to me. Friday will mark five years since I shut off said process.

I would personally and publicly like to thank a certain friend for being my happy place and their patience while I come out of my shell.

The next year is about to be lit.

Cydney’s Fifth Birthday

 

Cydney Milner turned five on Sunday.  By Monday morning, I was feeling hungover from the preparation, execution, and the financial toll the weekend took on my mother and me.

Cyd enjoyed the day and the whole weekend.  We had a birthday party for her at her school on Friday afternoon.  She wanted a Little Mermaid-themed party.  This seemed to work out perfectly.  When Timile was pregnant, we joked that almost every year, we were going to have a different themed Disney Princess Party.  When she was three, it was Frozen, four was The Princess and the Frog, and this year was centered around Ariel.  There was a 48″ Ariel balloon that I had to buckle in my seat belt and contemplated keeping for HOV lane purposes.  She was all too excited and for the rest of the day, she reminded us that she is about to be five years old; just in case we forgot.

Sunday afternoon, the family traveled through in the one-degree weather to Manhattan to the American Girl Cafe for tea, snacks, and cake.

We were a little late, so I went inside to check in for our reservation while everyone parked.  I felt very awkward as a large black man, sitting at a table for ten in solitude, while in a room full of little girls.  I just kept my head down and peered into my phone because I was feeling like the biggest creep in America with my VIP table.  I was thankful when people showed up.  That was one of the longest ten minutes in life.

We walked around the three floors as Cydney looked around at the dolls and outfits she wanted.  To her surprise, Neighbour showed up, as well.

Since the cuisine at the American Girl Cafe was finger food, we came back to Long Island, ordered Chinese Food, and sang Happy Birthday to Cyd.  While she ran around with my nephew and cousin, Tyler, I watched the NBA All-Star Game and passed out for two hours.  It seems as if whenever there is no stimuli and I have sit idle for more than five minutes, I fall asleep.  My daughter went to bed happy and that’s all that mattered.

The time between February 14, 2011 and 2016 seems like both a lifetime ago and yesterday.  Cydney’s birth was a surprise, because Timile and I were going in for her 37 week checkup.  Within nine hours, we went from just seeing the doctor to a family so quickly, we didn’t even have a name picked out, yet.  Almost as rapid as those events occurred, as a family, we went from giving life to looking at options to save Timile’s.  It hasn’t been until recently, that I have looked back at 2011 and realized that a LOT of shit happened.  Cydney’s birth wasn’t just a day that changed everything because I became a father; it was the turning point in life in which a complete paradigm shift began.  I’m actually very thankful that everything happened the way that it did.

Right after Cydney went to sleep Saturday night, I thought to myself “I remember my fifth birthday.”  It was the first time in which my birthday fell on Thanksgiving.  My parents wanted to take my sister and I to the Macy’s Parade.  We were late and only saw the Santa Claus float because my father and I were engulfed in a game of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Nintendo.

I mention that to say that five years old is the moment in which I still have vivid memories of.  I can remember a handful of things that happened before; but they are mostly flashes and still pictures encapsulated in my mind that I scroll through like old ones in my phone.  That first half-decade really solidifies who we are as people.  Everything else after that is fair game, as far as remembrance.  This means that I have to operate differently in how I do things around her.  I don’t know what she will and won’t remember.

…Hopefully, this birthday will be one of those that she does remember as vividly as I do November 22, 1990.

Four Turning Thirty: My Daughter’s Big Plans For Her Birthday

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Happy New Year!

It’s been a while and there is plenty to catch up on and I will make sure to do so for real.

Cydney is turning four on Saturday. Ever since January 2nd this has been virtually all that she’s concerned about. Every commercial that comes on Disney Jr is followed up with “Can I have that for my birthday?” She’s not being annoying about it; she’s just excited because she knows it’s Cydney season (Well, every day is but it really is come February).

Cydney is focused on becoming a big girl. She’s potty trained; but we’re still working on the overnight bathroom scenario. She says that when she turns four she’s not doing that anymore. She’s also getting herself dressed, picking out her own clothes, and bathing herself as of Saturday. Typical toddler things that she’s saying because it’s pretty normal to want independence at the tail and of three.

Cydney is definitely an old soul. For the last three weeks she made it clear that four years old is her coming off age. She’s going to be an adult. I have been informed that she will be growing hair on her legs because big girls have that. While getting her ready for her bath she told me “When I turn four I’m growing scabs” while pointing at her chest. She was dead serious. Apparently four means becoming a woman.

I find humor in the things that Cydney says because she isn’t joking. There is no comedic undertone in the statements that she makes. Because I think she’s been here before, I’m thinking these moments are the older spirit seeping out. She speaks her mind and is clearly observing things that she sees and is articulating what she seems to have thought out thoroughly.

In three days my daughter will be turning thirty. How do I know this? She told me.

The Weekend In Pictures: Cydney’s Often Delayed Third Birthday Party

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Soccer at baseball practice.
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Good swing!
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Cydney on the bench.
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Making tiaras.
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The table.
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Cydney and her cousin Keyanna.
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Mmmm
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The tea party stopped because they had to be doctors.
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Dance freeze with Olaf.
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More dancing with Olaf.
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My godmother and the kids.
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Cydney preforming for us.
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Cydney and my mom.
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My mother and I photobombed by my aunt.
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Cydney's Neighbour came out too. I photobombed their moment.
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After it was all said n done...
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Baseball practice Sunday.
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Soccer during baseball.

The Weekend In Pictures: Cydney Turns Three Edition

I want to thank everyone who participated, sent gifts, birthday wishes, and comments via social media,  text messages, calls, and emails to my little girl. The pictures racked up over 500 likes within the course of the weekend. So enjoy.

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Cydney told me to take this one and send it to her friend.

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Red Robin

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Cydney and her grandmother
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When they came to sing happy birthday...
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...This was Cydney's face

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New toys

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She had supervision
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Cake!
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The dot is the balloon we released for Timile
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As soon as Cydney opened this up she knew it came from her friend. This was her favorite.
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Playing with Elsa in her Frozen World

Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is my favorite day of the year.  Why?  It’s my daughter’s birthday!  What a great way to celebrate love than being given the best gift of all?  My own personal kid.

I look back at the last three years and realize that I am very blessed.  God saw fit that my daughter whose original due date was March 7 to come three weeks early.  She made sure she came on Valentine’s Day because she was born at 11:25 PM.  What Timile and I thought was just a 37 week full term check up wound up being much more.  The doctor did a sonogram and said that out little girl was healthy.  Then they said that she was in the lower tenth percentile in birth weight so they were going to induce labor.  It could have taken up to three days before she came but as I’ve said before God and Cydney had other plans.  With the way that things have played out I’m glad it did this way.  My last Valentine’s Day with Timile ended in love manifested and I’ll have that with me for as long as I live.

I try to make the day very special.  We get up early and spend the day hanging out.  There will be cake, and going out to eat, and presents.  There will be plenty of pictures.

While the day is a commercialized holiday I do like to indulge in it if I have someone in my life.  Girls like that kind of stuff and they all want to feel like someone thinks that they’re amazing on that day.  So I do that and put a lot of thought into doing thoughtful things.  I’d like to think I made it special for someone.  Everyone needs that.  Since I was given an awesome gift of love on the day that I feel obligated to do the same and give it to others.

My Father

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Working on my second album in 2002.

I’ve been putting off this post for some time. I haven’t been putting it off on purpose per se, I just haven’t found the right time to write it. We’ll my father’s birthday being yesterday is pretty good if you ask me.

My father is a musician by trade. It has made for an interesting way to be raised. While most dads went to work in suits, ties, or some kind of uniform, my father would be leaving our apartment when my sister and I would be getting home from school wearing whatever he wore (some fashion decisions have been questionable, but that’s him). I always thought that was cool. It kind of shaped my opinion about going to work in a suit and tie is overrated when I got older.

While my father was the musician, it was my mom that really introduced me and why I loved music as a kid. The love of music made me want to be like my dad, though. I wanted to be on stage performing all over the world and spend nights in the studio. Growing up like this was pretty awesome. We’d drive down to DC of Philly to catch a show he’d be playing in. It was part of the adventure my mom would take us on. I’ve been backstage and snuck into more concerts than I’ve paid tickets for.

The music business has a 97% failure rate. While my father isn’t rich, he’s been just being a musician for almost forty years…that would make him a success. He used to direct Isaac Hayes’ birthday bash every year in New York where sitting at rehearsals I’d see all kinds of people come in. He’s written and produced songs for Will Downing, the Force MD’s, Gerald Levert, Melba Moore, The Manhattans and a bunch of others. His current day job is playing for Dennis Edwards and the Temptations. To all of my. DC people: that was him singing the theme song for the Donnie Simpson show.

As much as I wanted to follow in his footsteps he didn’t want that for me at all. He hated the idea. However, he was teaching me a lesson one night driving through Queens that gave me my loophole. He was telling me that if I’m going to be anything, work hard and be the best at it. He said that the best ballplayers spend eight hours a day in the gym during the offseason. He said if I wanted to be a producer that I would have to approach it the same way. I think he was saying that as an example of something that’s was interested in. By I took that as a green light.

He wouldn’t say much, but the more work I showed I was putting into music the more he rewarded me. He wouldn’t give instructions, either. He would just do something and I’d have to figure it out. After figuring it out, I’d have to master it. Then came the next thing. I would buy cassette singles with instrumentals on them. When he saw I had a bunch of those, he gave me his old four track recorded. It was like twenty five years old, but I would fill it up with little productions of raps and songs of mine. Insight grade he showed me a program I could make beats on. I had a good hundred something on there before ninth grade started. He was on tour during the summer I was going into tenth grade and gave me access to his home studio. His hard drive was filled with songs by the time he got back home. He got me my own computer. It only had three gb of memory obit and once burner. The external burner only recorded in real time. So for every song I recorded I had to back it up twice and it would take three hours before I could start on the next one. That effort made him notice and I put out my first album to sell around school when I was in tenth grade. The more I showed I was capable of, the more he would show me. As am adult, I’ve done plenty of things for him (some stuff he’s taken all the credit for but I chalk that up to the game and if it helped pay a bill who s I to say anything). He’ll send me things now to listen to and get my take one mix or an idea or two.

I bring up this story with my father because it is the most valuable lesson I’ve learned. Work. You work hard and master something. Someone will pay attention and seek you out. The more you go above what you’re asked or required to do, the more life will open up doors. I used this same philosophy for everything. It’s why I write so much. It’s what I do as a father. It’s how I tackle just about everything in life.

Thanks for the valuable lesson…I do pay attention.

The Weekend In Pictures: Missed Homecoming and 10 Year Reunion Edition

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Friday Night: Cinderella
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What I woke up to jumping on me Saturday morning.
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Saturday Night: Cinderella 2
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Saturday Night Live...Cydney was that is.
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Mozzarella sticks in church.
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Amen!
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How I spent the sermon.
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This little boy was trying it. Cydney was the aggressor.
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Post church, pre party.
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Mmmmuah!
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Cydney at the birthday party.

The Weekend In Pictures: Filming, Santa Claus Scouting, and Convention Edition

This weekend I’m starting the pictures with our busy Thursday:

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8:30 AM Q4 Bus Selfie
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9 AM E train selfie
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10:45 7 train selfie
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Chillin' on Madison Ave before filming
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Getting ready to shoot
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Cydney being filmed at Madison Sq Park
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Watching Cydney from a distance
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On camera interview
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That's cranberry juice in the cup...
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At Madison Square Garden... I told Cydney to leave the flower alone
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And we wound up going home with it.
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Looking to see what the kids like so Santa Claus can buy it.
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Graco makes toy strollers now
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Rolling through Toys R Us
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Soccer Saturday
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The sole doesn't fall far from the...
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Cydney spent most of her time at the expo like this...
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Black people love the Cha Cha Side
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VIP seats for the concert compliments of neighbour
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My mom and Cydney
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My mom enjoyed her birthday gift.
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I dozed off...
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Outside the Jacob Javits Center
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Basketball on Sunday
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Spongebob had Cydney's attention Sunday evening.