BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Not all heroes wear capes, so a Maryland dad created a clothing line called “WASHED DADS” to remind us of the real heroes in our lives.
After rising through the ranks over the past six years, Joshua Thomas is now the highest-ranking black operator among thousands of employees at Amazon’s Global Specialty Fulfillment.
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“I have responsibility for all same-day fulfillment centers from Virginia to Ohio to Massachusetts and everything in between,” Thomas told WJZ.
As regional manager for nine same-day distribution centers, Thomas spends a lot of time on the road, away from home and family in Odenton.
As he said, what he misses the most when he’s on the road is that quality time he’s used to spending with his family.
“Me and Tate are starting to cook. We have a box delivered to us and we are going to start cutting it and cooking it. We have dinner as a family,” he said. “So we’ll come over here on this couch and watch a show.”
It’s quite the start of his pre-fatherhood days. Thomas and his friends accepted this realization a few years ago.
“We walked around the room and said, ‘What are you doing this weekend?’ And each of us had something to do with our children – recitals, basketball games, etc. “, did he declare. “And we kind of laughed and said, ‘Oh man, we’re washed up! But then it opened up a conversation for us to say, “Really, are we?”
Thomas and his friends decided to redefine what it means to be a “washed dad”, an acronym which means “We are superheroes every day”, and now spreads this message through a line of clothing with this logo affixed to various clothes.
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“We make dad’s life cool, by doing the best we can,” he said. “There’s a narrative that black dads aren’t around, and that’s far from the truth or the perception.”
He hopes WASHED DADS can simultaneously celebrate fatherhood and dismantle negative stereotypes surrounding black dads. His wife of 13 years even admits that Thomas has changed his view of fatherhood.
“A father can be more than the provider, the protector,” she said. “They can also be involved in raising the children, which is good because then I can share the parenting duties.”
For Thomas, those chores range from helping his 11-year-old daughter, Zoey, prepare for college – “she already comes to me laughing at math. Math is my thing,” watching hours of Marvel movies with his 9-year-old son Tate.
“My dad, he understands that,” Tate told WJZ. “And if I’m like, ‘Hm, I’m bored. I want to talk about superheroes,’ then I’ll go see my dad.”
While he acknowledges the different struggles and circumstances that different dads face, Thomas said earning the title “superhero” comes down to one thing: “You have to take the time.”
“What we lose sometimes is that I also have to be there and make sure I have time to roll around, play, whatever we’re doing. Things that will create memories in these children’s lives that they will remember forever.
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Click here to learn more or visit the WASHED DADS website. You can also follow WASHED DADS on Facebook and Instagram.