Through social media, we often get to see retired NBA star Dwyane Wade be a proud, hands-on dad with kids Zaire and Zaya from his first marriage to Siohvaughn Funches, and Kaavia, from his marriage to Gabrielle Union (he also cares for his nephew, Dahveon Morris), but you don’t get the same inside look when it comes to his relationship with son Xavier, 8. The former baller is often very protective in the way he shares anything regarding his son, as news of the child’s birth came with some controversy. Eight years later, he’s trying to be the best dad he can be despite the fact that Xavier is not living in his home.
“Xavier doesn’t live with me, so we don’t get to see each other every day like I do with my other kids,” he says. “It makes things challenging at times, but it’s my job to make sure he never has to carry that weight.”
Xavier lives with his mother, former TV personality Aja Metoyer, but Wade says that doesn’t stop him from ensuring that the child always knows and feels his presence.
“It’s up to me to make sure he knows he’s being raised with love even if we don’t live under the same roof,” he writes in the book. “And it’s up to me to let him know that while distance may physically separate us at times, I’m always going to be the man he can depend on to love him and help lead him.”
And as Wade states in the book excerpt, there is no one way to be a great father.
“What I’ve come to learn over my life is that fatherhood isn’t a monolithic image that looks the same in every household. Each relationship is different,” he writes. “All I’m concerned about with Xavier is him always knowing he’s loved.”
Dwyane, a photographic memoir, is available now wherever books are sold.