I’ve never watched a human being grow so closely —

There are people in my life who can joke, “I remember the day you were born…” and they do. They remember the very day I was born and have watched me grow from over the last 20 years. They see where I came from and have some sort of glimpse to where I am going.

Up until now, I had been too young to have that full memory of anyone. Sure, I remember coming home from school to find out my cousins were born, but I don’t remember those fine details of the day. There is only one person who I have been able to watch from that vantage point- my nephew, Kameron.

I remember the day I was standing in the dining room and my sister whispered in my ear, “I’m pregnant”, and that’s when the story began. An entire 9 months that Kam knows nothing about, his backstory. He will not remember these moments in his life, all he will know is that they happened and they shaped who he is. I remember the day he was born. I was preparing for a production at church (Strange Fruit: the Emmett Till Story) and in rehearsal for In the Red and Brown Water, the Spring Show at Duke Ellington School of the Arts. Both shows were teaching me a thing or two about manhood. Fitting for me to be thinking about this new life that was coming into the world. I headed to the hospital and held Kam for the very first time. I had never held such fresh life.

That Human Development class sure does come in handy when I am able to see, in just 2 short years, how Kam is developing. He has not only physically grown, but I can see how his tiny little mind is thinking. How he picks up habits from other kids, and repeats just what he hears. That’s scary and yet so beautiful.

Most people know that I’m not a “baby-person”, in fact I pride myself in it (lol). I tell folk that I am sure that one day the time will come with the right woman and we will give birth to a bundle of greatness- but that time ain’t now. For now, I just teach other people’s kindergartners (and send them home at the end of the day) and love on my nephew Kam, until he gets out of hand and then he heads right back to his mama.

Terrible Two will be nothing for Kam, he’s advanced… He’s all over the place and into everything. He keeps himself busy and everyone around him. Happy 2nd Birthday Kam Da Man! I can’t wait to tell you about yourself when you get older.

Love you madly Kam!!

Uncle Babatunde “TJ” —