Dwyane Wade is reflecting on being a father to an 18-year-old son and why parenthood can be so scary.
Now 38 and the proud dad of 18-year-old son Zaire, Wade told People before the Sunday premiere of his ESPN documentary “D. Wade: Life Unexpected,” that he tried his best to raise good children.
“Now he’s 18 and I’m like, ‘He’s about to go to college’ — I’m even more scared,” the retired NBA legend who is married to actress Gabrielle Union, told the outlet. “When a kid is born, they don’t come out with a pamphlet that’s like, ‘Okay, these are the directions for this kid.’ So you just figure it out and try to help raise someone who’s good and kind, and just characteristics that you want your kids to hopefully have. And that’s in you already.”
Wade added, “You’re afraid because you don’t want to mess up; you don’t want anything to happen to them. But I think, ultimately, we all have it inside of us to help lead someone, whether that’s your kids, godson or goddaughter, niece or nephew, coworker — we all have it in us to lead. It’s no different when you have a kid.”
Now a rising basketball star himself, Zaire hopes to play in the NBA one day, like his father. And Wade says the teen isn’t embarrassed by his famous dad — well, not entirely. “There’s moments where I embarrass him sometimes on purpose,” he told People, “and sometimes just because I’m older and I’m not as cool as I used to be.”
Recently, during an appearance on Ellen, the athlete shared how he and Union respected Zaya’s decisions. “First of all, me and my wife Gabrielle Union, we are proud — when I say proud, we are proud parents — of a child in the LGBTQ+ community,” Dwyane told Ellen DeGeneres. “And we’re proud allies as well. And we take our roles and our responsibility as parents very seriously.”
Also in February, the athlete also posted an Instagram video in which he praised Zaya for being a “leader.”
Wade recently told Good Morning America that he hesitated to discuss Zaya’s choices in his new project. “I struggled on how much I wanted to talk about it in the doc,” he said. “I actually didn’t talk about it a lot, but I knew if I put it in the doc at all it would be a big conversation. Yes, we understand that our daughter's 12 years old. We struggled with what people would say about a 12-year-old making a decision about her life, but we also know our child.”
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