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On Being a New Father: An Interview with Daniel Knight

An Interview with Daniel Knight by Rhonda Hardy, Father’s Day 2020

I met Dan about nine months ago through my son, Ruben. We were together for dinner to celebrate with him and his new bride Tabitha. They also had the cutest baby girl, Gia, with them. She was about three weeks old. They talked about their plans to go on a honeymoon car trip to Louisiana in a few days. Recently, I reconnected with Dan for an interview as part of DFUC’s Celebrating Fathers 2020 Campaign. Following is our conversation:

SO, DAN, HOW WAS YOUR HONEYMOON CAR TRIP?

DAN: Never take an infant on your honeymoon! It was somewhat of a disaster. Gia was much too young. In addition, the weather in Louisiana was lousy; it rained the whole time we were there!

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST THOUGHT WHEN YOU SAW YOUR BRAND-NEW BABY GIRL?

DAN: I remember I felt totally out of control during Gia’s birth. The room was very bright with doctors and nurses running around, masks and gowns. It was surreal. But reality hit when Gia came out with red hair, just like her mom’s.

WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT YOURSELF NOW THAT YOU ARE A FATHER?

DAN: That is a hard question. I am more concerned about the future, the family’s future. I don’t want Gia to grow up around a drum culture. I want her to have lots of space to play in. ‘Thinking about putting money down for a new home. Planning these things, it is very real – very serious, but in a good way.

IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU ARE VERY TRADITIONAL ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT AS A FATHER AND HUSBAND. DAN: Yes, I see that. I think about how I was raised and some of the values that were instilled in me, like my dad teaching me about boating. I’d like Gia to spend time with her grandparents too.

WHEN GIA GROWS UP, WHAT WILL YOU TELL HER ABOUT THE YEAR 2020?

DAN: I don’t know how this is all going to end. It is as if we are in a movie where we are not even in the middle yet. I still believe in the basic values that this country was built on. I think about leaders such as Martin Luther King. That man and his beliefs were strong and influenced this country. Those were proud times, and I believe we will be proud again. We are going to be different when Gia is grown up, but I believe the country will persevere and become better, especially growing past skin color. 

WHAT ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL DREAMS?

DAN: I have a master’s degree in film. My ideal choice would be as a field producer. The creative world is up in the air. Plus, since I have a family, I do need some stability with salary. 

 I UNDERSTAND YOUR CONCERNS. I AM ALSO AN ARTIST BUT NEEDED A REGULAR SALARY TO TAKE CARE OF MY SONS. I suggest you keep your creativity and find ways to use that talent in your job, no matter what type of job you are in, and find ways to teach creativity to Gia. Companies like to have creative people on their staff because they are flexible and can see the whole picture when addressing challenges. Also, remember that there will come a time when you will have the opportunity to work in your field!

FINALLY, DAN, HOW DO YOU HAVE FUN WITH A 9-MONTH-OLD BABY?

DAN: Gia loves paper! She likes to play with it and likes to see me make sounds with it. She laughs so hard!

IT’S THE SIMPLE THINGS. RIGHT, DAN?

DAN: Right!

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