Who are you and how long have you been “Daddyin’”?
My name is Reginald V Paige II. I am a native from Saint Louis, Missouri. I am currently a First Lieutenant in the United States Army. I met Vontaeshia and Skylen last year around July in Montgomery, Alabama. Currently, have been “Daddyin” for a year and 5 months now. Just been blessed to have the opportunity to be “Daddyin” this intelligent young man.
How did the idea for the toy drive come about?
The idea of the toy drive came up during our regular routine of cleaning his room. He mentioned that he had too many toys and that he wanted to give his toys he doesn’t play with to friends who might don’t have as many as he has. So, his mother and I simply asked him if he would he like to give some of his toys away to kids who can’t afford it or who is less fortunate. Without hesitation he was more than happy to do it.
That's dope! So, what lessons has Fatherhood taught you?
One of the biggest lessons Fatherhood has taught me, especially being that I’m a stepfather is patience. Patience with myself and patience with him. Patience is literally like anything in this world you want to get better at, it requires practice. Being patient is a tool I use to apply to any and all situations between me and him. Once I understood the value of patience and choose to apply it, every life lesson I have taught him has not been a reaction with anger. It has been more of care and love for not only him, as well as his mother.
What advice would you give an upcoming father?
My advice to upcoming Fathers is to be flexible as you get used to being a parent. Due to me being long distance and stationed in Louisiana my biggest struggle right now is being able to be there for Skylen and Vontaeshia. Stay flexible especially when things aren’t going as planned. It’s been plenty of times when “just rolling with the flow” kept me in a good mood.
Flexibility, I like that! What does the term “Daddy” mean to you? Is it different from “Father”?
The term "Daddy" means to me protector. In no shape or form do I think the two or different in anyway. As a man you reach an age where we grow out of that “Daddy” phase. In all retrospect it’s completely the same and all means the same in my opinion. It is literally just a word that is spelled differently.
Describe the importance of Black Fathers being surrounded by other Black Fathers?
This is the key right here. I’m a big Star Wars nerd and one of my favorite quotes by Master Yoda is, “pass on what you have learned.” Even though we have moms, aunts, and older siblings that will help us out. It’s nothing like a Black Father to Black Father mentorship and development. It takes a village to raise a child and I think we’ve grown out of that.
Couldn't agree more! Ok, last question. Are there future plans for the toy drive? How can people donate?
Absolutely!! Right now, we have raised $700 dollars so far, $300 away from our $1000 goal. We plan on doing this every year from here on out. It will continue to grow and will continue to help others in the process. If friends or family members would love to donate, they can easily support our GoFundMe by typing in the search box: “Skylen Bibb” and the title “Skylen’s Mission Help-A-Friend” will both pop up. If for any reason they cannot donate, they can easily share the flyer that is on myself and my lady's Instagram page. @peace_n_happiness314 or @_taeshiaa.
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