Tue | Jul 23, 2024

Doting father Marvin G. Hall is a superdad

Published:Sunday | June 16, 2024 | 12:06 AMPaul H. Williams - Sunday Gleaner Writer

From left: Marvin G. Hall; his wife Sarah Hsia; daughters Eve, Pixie, Zora; Shakira Walton, Jared’s mother; and his son, Jared.
From left: Marvin G. Hall; his wife Sarah Hsia; daughters Eve, Pixie, Zora; Shakira Walton, Jared’s mother; and his son, Jared.

MARVIN G. HALL has four children, the last three, girls, are with his wife, Sarah Hsia, and his son, 24 year-old Jared, is with Shakira Walton. It’s a blended relationship, full of love, laughter, camaraderie, commitment, and whatever else that comes in between. Walton is the girls’ godmother.

Jared, a promising artist, did a portrait of his father when he had locks, and that is telling. He has a bachelor of arts degree in illustration from Rhode Island School of Design, and is pursuing a master’s in animation at CalArts in Los Angeles, California. In April, SHOUTOUT LA, an online magazine, published an article titled, ‘Meet Jared Hall/Artist and Storyteller’. In it, Jared gave props to his father for his involvement in his life.

“Who else deserves some credit and recognition?” the writer asks. Jared replies, “I really have to thank my father. He has never wavered in supporting my pursuit of an artistic career. He got me every piece of equipment I could need and exposed me to art learning overseas every summer until I graduated high school. Without his support, I would not have had a strong portfolio to apply for art school later on … . Many wonderful people have been supportive towards my artistic pursuits, but he really went above and beyond,” the younger Hall writes, among other accolades.

There is mutual love and admiration between them, but the journey at the beginning was very bumpy, especially because Jared was born out of wedlock to two very young and educated people who were not contemplating marriage. And it was countering what he wanted to be as a parent, since his own parents separated before he was six years old.

“We never got married, but we eventually found a way to parent together and to be on the same team for Jared, which I think is most important, and we are great friends. Now she’s godmother to my daughters, you know, so that should tell you something,” Hall shared.

His marriage to Sarah Hsia brought forth three girls, but fathering them was different as, unlike with the girls, Hall was not living with Jared when he was a child. “It anchored me, it helped me to have focus, it inspired me … ,” he said of his experience as a first-time father.

So, when the first daughter came along, what happened? “When I had my first daughter, Pixie, it was a complete ... I mean, I love my son, but when I had a daughter it was like a different kind of love. You get that different kind of love … I think that it was easier with my son, he was a different type of child.

“My girls were more challenging, more everything, like more demanding. I think my girls are different, all of them, even the twins, and I have to deal with them individually. I have to have three different relationships with them, have to understand how they work, what they like, and it’s different at different stages … .

“For my son, I have to pay attention to what he was interested in and I do it for my daughters, so there are things that are the same across the board … I teach them how to fight physically and mentally, because, you know girls, they need to know how to protect themselves. I didn’t do that with my son as much, he kinda got it on his own to some extent,” Hall explained.

He wants his children to know how to protect themselves, but he himself is not letting his guard down, especially in this social media age.

“I think that, with social media, I was very protective of posting them when they were very young, and still I don’t post them as much as I could. I’m very conscious of the algorithm and just putting the data out there and having that, just privacy. So I’m protective of the privacy of my children, of my family, of everything I do,” he explained.

While he knows what he wants for his children, Hall still gives them much latitude to be themselves. “My children must become who they are, who they want to be and, in order for them to become that, I have to support them, I have to expose them. I have to train them with certain ways of thinking, and yeah, I want them to become themselves,” the son of Phillip Hall and Jennifer Alberga shared.

Yet, with all the good work that Hall and other fathers are doing, he believes Father’s Day is still trailing Mother’s Day in popularity.

“Of course, because mothers are the backbone of our society, and, in a lot of scenarios, the fathers get the women pregnant and gone. The mothers are for the most part the ones that stick around and ensure that that child is raised a certain way … I just think that mothers are more successful, have been more successful at being mothers, and fathers need to step up their game, just generally, just being men,” he opined.

Yet, the question of popularity is neither here nor there for him really. But does he look forward to it? “Yes and no,” he replied, “I’m not so much into a lot of the commercial stuff, the pressure of what you need to get … enjoying a special moment with them. That happens every day and I could try and make that happen every day … I appreciate it, but I don’t put a lot of weight on either thing, because Mother’s Day must be every day, Father’s Day must be every day.”