First off I…..I know its been
two and a half months a while since my last confession post and several weeks on top of that since I shared an activity guide for the weekend. This especially sucks since 3 weeks ago it was Easter. Easter is filled with church service, egg hunts and more than enough activities that I didn’t share with you.
I apologize for that. Sincerely. And not to sound like a cheating boyfriend but…..please give me another chance. See it wasn’t me. I value authenticity and believe that is how you develop the strongest relationships. Only by first being honest with yourself and your truth do you begin to allow your interactions with others to be more meaningful and fulfilling. I put out my activity weekend guides because every weekend….that is what I was doing: trying to decide what I was going to do with my daughters Friday, Saturday and Sunday. That’s changed. My weekends don’t look and feel as they once did and I have noticed a weird transition happening in my experience as a father. As puberty contorts how my daughters view themselves, it is accomplishing the supplementary objective of augmenting how they look at me as well. I am going through my own adult puberty where things in my body are starting to change, mostly in my chest.
Recently I took my twin daughters to see the comic blockbuster: Batman VS Superman. As a fanboy, regardless of the reviews, I had to see for myself what Zack Synder’s vision was for the birth of the DC universe. I can’t say I was disgusted or utterly disappointed. I enjoyed my time in my movie seat watching two of American culture’s most iconic symbols of heroism duke it out.
Spoiler Alert: In one intense scene towards the end of the movie Superman drives toward the villain, Doomsday, and his ultimate demise with all the urgency, valor and intensity you would expect from one of earth’s mightiest heroes. He cared a spear made of Kryptonite — which is if you didn’t know — the only thing on earth that can kill Superman. So I am in a weird place as a father, one that I didn’t anticipate being in a few years ago. I sort of feel like Superman, speeding towards my eminent doom carrying life threatening poison; this sucks.
At the core of my interactions with my girls is a space where I try to build a close relationship and cultivate intimacy. There was a level of mysticism I held as dad: I was strong and knew everything about everything, that’s now slipping away. I was Superman to my little girls and I now believe there is a pear sized piece of Kryptonite pushing closer to pierce my chest.
In their adolescence the girls aren’t as concerned about spending time with me as they once were. They are caught up with the intricate nooks of their own lives and just like there was a MOMENT when I couldn’t help them change in the batheroom I now feel this is the MOMENT they are deciding that they don’t need as much of my presence to help guide them. I knew this day was coming but I wasn’t ready for its humbling wave to be so succinct. I mean all parents know there will be a day they are no longer cool to their children. They will no longer be held with awe but eventually seen as people. The Clark Kent identities laced with flaws and fears with whom to tolerate. I mean don’t we all seem to believe this universal truth will somehow pass us over because, we’re different than the millions of other parents on the earth who have dealt with the very same thing? I did.
I know better now.
So as I charge forward towards Doomsday, Kryptonite spear in hand, I remain Superman. I don’t falter or stop or fly away. I can’t. I am still Superman. Heroism is about not you but “them”; the collective others you have sworn to protect. This is parenting in its essence. The first day home from the hospital you know one day the world — your child — will shun your powers and deny you exist but you fly forward. They won’t believe in you until they need you, still you fly forward. You are a novelty until they need rescue or saving or to be guided, still you fly forward.
[Spoiler Alert: At the end of the movie its clear that Superman’s casket won’t be his final resting place. Even after the great sacrifice]
Head towards the danger because the “S” on your chest dictates it. Charge forward, kryptonite in hand, with your eyes set on certain death. Be the hero you know deep down you can never run away from because whether they know it or not they will always need you in their life.
-A Single Dad
PS. I will put out an activity guide for this weekend of April 22nd. Promise.