Kira: I was brought up in a traditional household. My dad was the provider, and my mom really did everything else.
Sidi: My mom was my rock. I saw her doing everything: wash people's clothes, feed me and my brother.
Kira: I don't even think to this day my dad has changed a diaper. So that was definitely a mom job.
Sidi: I didn't grow up with a father. I don't even like to talk about that. Life in Mali is tough. Women do cooking, they carry food, they make food for dinner, lunch, breakfast. They wash the children. They do everything! Men, we just chill. Seeing my mom doing it, I did not appreciate it. I know she does it every day. She didn't have a choice. I'm just trying to do something to change that.
Kira: When I was a child, my mom had her jobs, my dad had his jobs, and they didn't really cross. But Sidi and I are both working, we're both in and out of the house, we're both doing stuff around the house. I'll go to work, Sidi is with the kids during the day.
Sidi: I wake up and feed Wyatt. We do play. We try to do some activity inside. As a parent you always have something to do.
Kira: I get to come home around 3, 3:30. And then he goes to work and I hang out with the kids until dinnertime.
Sidi: I love for her to see what I do. And maybe, hopefully, she'll be able to learn it and probably do it better than I do.
Kira: Sidi works close by so he'll come and help with dinner, bath time, bedtime.
Sidi: Men don't cook in Mali. It's a female thing, a woman thing. I would like to just show my kids that their father can cook too. It's a normal thing in Mali, everybody eats from one plate. Eating from one plate just always reminds me of home and always reminds me of my family.
Kira: We try to get them to go to bed at the same time. That means bedtime/bath time routine is also happening at the same time. I love bath time. With Wyatt, he's just laying relaxed in the water, and it's just such a calm, peaceful moment. And with Zeleigh, being in the bath she's so happy.
Sidi: The bath time is really important for me because it makes me close to my kids. After, when she get out of the bath, she goes to choose her favorite dress. Every time I put that clean outfit on her I just feel good as a dad.
Kira: At night, my parents would always read a book, and then sing us a song, and then we'd go to sleep. It was just very comforting for me from my parents to be sung to sleep.
Sidi: [Singing] I get the singing from her!
Kira: My parents, they started doing karate before I was born. Karate was an important bonding time. So to be able to pass on that tradition and to have something that I can say, "You know, they're not just doing the karate, they're literally doing the same moves that their grandparents did."
Sidi: I always want my kids to grow up and see me cooking or doing my Malian things around home, so they can take some of them, if they want to keep up with it, showing to their kids, to the next generation, to pass on hand to hand. Because if I lost those things, I lost myself.
Kira: Blending our traditions, we celebrate Ramadan, we celebrate Hanukkah, we celebrate Christmas, and that's normal in our house. And we speak two languages, and we eat food from Mali and food from America, and that's normal.
Sidi: It's not an easy thing to do, because somehow you can't just bring all the traditions in your family all in one. But it's working for us so far.