Although my son is ten years old and possibly going on sixty, we have developed what I hope is a strong and lasting bond. Sure we do all the normal things parents are supposed to do with their children like playing and communicating with them, but I think this bond goes deeper than that. And it started much, much earlier. It started almost right after we came from the hospital, actually.
You see, my husband has always been kind of a Star Wars nut. No, we don't live in his parents' basement surrounded by memorabilia from all six movies, and for a few years I wondered why we didn't. Star Wars was great for me during those late night feedings when I got up to nurse while my husband moaned and mumbled, then rolled over and went back to sleep. I would strap on the nursing pillow, turn on the VCR and TV and sit there on the sofa bleary-eyed while he nursed.
The first time I did it, when he was a week old, it felt like a rite of passage to me. My son, at the ripe old age of seven days old, was a geek. His life was predestined now; the die had been cast. It would be a life filled with gatherings of other 501st brigade stormtroopers at Starbucks, late nights at DragonCon conventions in full costume, and arguing with Trekkies about how to say something in Klingon. We're talking about the good life here, folks.
But all kidding aside, watching those movies while nursing were the start of something special: a bond with my child. I was taking care of our son when he was too little to do anything on his own and reliving my own youth.
Now, I use Star Wars as an example of how to manage things when life gets tough. It's particularly effective with any school drama. When homework gets overwhelming? Remember Luke in the swamp trying to lift the plane over and over and Yoda coming to the rescue? That's Mom helping with homework after all avenues have been exhausted. Kids being extremely disruptive and he can't concentrate? Use Jedi mind control to block out the noise and focus on what you have to get done. Finally? Bullies don't win in the end. They might have the upper hand for a while, but someone or something will always bring down the Emperor Palpatines in our lives.
For me, Star Wars has always been about real life lessons. Good does triumph over Evil and if you work hard enough, you too can be a Jedi Master in life.
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