I remember finding out that you were indeed a girl and that I would have my princess. Your mother was so excited to break up this house of boys with her very own twin. I can remember all the nights I talked to your mama’s belly for hours & you would kick back confirming you were going to be full of life. I remember me & your mom settling on Brooklyn Rose for your name, inspired by my love for hip-hop, which is fitting for how much you love music & dancing.
As talented as all your siblings are, only you would go viral for giggin’ with daddy in the kitchen. I’m so glad the world got to see the joy that is inside your heart. That joy is so beautiful, so pure & so real. I pray everyday that your heart gets to stay that way & the world does not corrupt you. I am fully aware that you, my beautiful baby are a brown skin girl, a powerful Afro-Latina with the power of all the women who have fought to have their voice heard contained within you.
You already speak your truth and make sure your feelings are acknowledged. It is amazing to see the strength of your ancestors so full in your little body. You are an old soul. The great-granddaughter of Artie B, mija of Natividad, those women will ALWAYS live inside of you and be the root of your power.
Never lose your power, never forget your voice. I remember the moment I realized your voice, experience, and ways you navigate the world would be drastically different than your brothers. It was when I watched Diamond Reynolds calmly record her boyfriend die in front of their child. You were a few weeks away from being born and I remember the grief that overcame me when I realized I couldn’t protect you from that. For all that daddy can do baby, daddy can’t save you from loving Black men who can be taken from you at a moments notice, even when they are law-abiding citizens. The resolve Ms. Reynolds displayed to not only film her boyfriend’s last moments, but to remain calm because she knew any type of emotional reaction could cost her and her daughter their life, as well as discredit her evidence left me vexed. In the most vulnerable and frightening moment Black women have to still carry the weight of the world & do it as a “lady.”
After learning of Breonna Taylor’s story I felt a similar pain, as much as your mother and I will raise you to be a woman of good character, we cannot protect you from violence the state can inflict inside of your own home. That might be the scariest thing daddy has had to deal with. I made a promise to protect you but until this world is fixed I can only do so much. Not enough, not enough to ever repay you for what you have given me. You have given me perspective, joy, patience, vulnerability, you have given me the chance to be a better man, a good man as India.Arie would sing it. I know love in a way that I have never known before, because of you. Your four years on this earth have changed me for the better and I am eternally grateful for you babygirl. So if the sun ever comes up and I’m not home be the strongest, bravest, and smartest most beautiful woman that there has ever been. Because that’s who you are to me. Just know I live for you Boog.
Thank you to my sisters Asha, Felisa & DJ for helping me edit
And so much love to my wife Adriana for giving me the most beautiful mini-you! I love you to Jupiter and back!