Folks We Love with Kadeem Strickland, actor
Tell us a little bit about your journey and how you’ve come to arrive here.
I’m a gal who was raised in a small town in South Georgia, who left & began a career in acting after college in Philadelphia. I lived, studied, & worked in New York. A few years later, I went to Japan for a film & met the man I would later fall in love with, marry, & have a son with.
Who’s in your family? Ages? Names?
How did you choose your kids names?
We had several we liked, but we decided to meet our son before we chose. Atticus was a name we both loved. It was part of the list after an afternoon hike when the name came to us. During labor, while pushing, I called (yelled) out the name Atticus. We were both relieved he looked like an Atticus after all… We knew when we saw him, there was no other name.
What’s on your manifest board?
I have a prosperity pot. I bless it & check in with it when it needs a reboot.
Tell us some of your most loved ways to spend the day with your clan?
Breakfast is always an adventure. We love our time around the table together sharing food. We often read, run laps, Ninja Train, & play with toys post breakfast. On school days, the ride to & from is super fun. Noticing what’s new & what has changed along our route. The car wash is our latest favorite. We love exploring different parks around town. Picnics in a park or our driveway are a usual special time. Routine scooter missions, usually with Atticus’s best friend, Bodhi, happen post nap. The zoo, museum, libraries, aquariums & restaurants in whatever city we happen to be in are adventures we love having together.
What are some silly/fun things that the kids do or say?
Atticus loves making up songs. About any random thing. He also loves hiding in plain sight, which I adore.
We play the up & down/gofer game where we hide around objects and take turns going up & down. It’s instant laugh fest.
When you were a teenager what did you dream of?
I knew I wanted to be a working actor. I knew I wanted to always have health insurance & hoped to have enough income to raise a child on my own. I also wanted to be proud of the outcome of my work.
Do things look different?
Yep. I never knew I’d have such an amazing partner to do it with. I assumed I’d have to do it on my own. I was “fully resolved” about that. Still not sure why that was my head space, but I’m super grateful it isn’t my reality. Life has its way of leading you to your highest & best.
What are some things you really believe in?
Choice. In every facet of life. Respect in oneself & others. Compassion. Can be tough when your in it to remember that we all are on our own journey.
Where do your passions lie?
My family & my art. Learning. I feel I’m reeducated daily due to Atticus. Pretty special to open up to that. Didn’t realize how special that aspect of life is with a child.
Has your relationship with your other half changed since having kids?
Definitely. I didn’t think I could love Jason more than I already did, & then I got to experience him as a dedicated father. His patience & guidance with our son blows me away on a daily basis. Even in the challenging times that come with less sleep & self care in its former version, we find our way. We still support the greater good of the family. We have yet to have a night away from Atticus together, but we’re still good with that.
What are some of your favorite life lessons you’ve grown to love? (even if learning them at the time was hard)
I love my profession. I have always loved doing the work. There were jobs that I thought “I have to do”, & they didn’t work out. It’s awful when you feel “certain” or invested. And, on every occasion that happened, a better job for what I required for growth or one that allowed me to be available in a time of grief or simply more time with my kid, showed up. I always feel protected even in the initial upset, because it’s always evident when time reveals the lesson.
What do you wish you could’ve told yourself when you were a teenager?
You are enough… that lesson came in my late twenties.
What do you find most challenging about being somebody’s parent?
Having patience with myself. Especially, when I’m triggered with big emotions. I’m proud of our efforts as parents to be honest & clear with Atticus when we are upset, frustrated or “having a moment”. We talk about it rather than stuff it or pretend it’s not there. We do this if alone with Atticus at these times or if we need to move through something together. I feel I move through it more easily & process it more honestly by speaking the truth out loud with each other & our son. It isn’t easy & that’s where the need for extra patience comes in.
What do you want your kids to learn about the world?
Embracing the experience of new people & places. Compassion towards self & others. He seems to embrace travel, & I hope that continues. We are all constantly transitioning & to stay mindful of that in self & others. Home is wherever in the world we are. Self care comes from listening to what you require & acting on it.
What are 4 things you can’t live without as a parent?
My husband (wouldn’t want to).
Our adventure chariots (car seats).
Nutritious food (snacks are key for Atticus).
Sitter we trust (date night is paramount).