‘Do It, I Dare You.’

Modern Love

Jul 6 2022 • 16 mins


In his early 20s, Kevin Renn moved to New York City with dreams of making it as a playwright. When money got tight, he decided to fall back on a familiar option: babysitting.

“The question, though, wasn’t whether I would be a good nanny, but if anyone would let me — as a Black man who is over six feet tall,” Kevin said in his Modern Love essay.

Kevin soon became a nanny to Lucas, a 4-year-old boy with a wide smile and stylish parents. Today, Kevin takes us into his secret world with Lucas — their intertwining daily routines, the nights full of spaghetti and meatballs and jazz music, and the times they stood up to strangers with a phrase that became their refrain: “Do it, I dare you.” Then, we get to hear from Lucas, now 7 years old.