You’ll find this out about me – I like superhero fliks. Superman, Batman, Wolverine, X-Men, The Avengers…wow, will any of that even be around when you’re older? I suppose they likely will, given that Superman, Batman, and the classics have been around and going strong since prior to World War II.
Why do I enjoy them so much? Well, at least in the more recent versions, they’re much “grittier” than in the past. They depict personal struggles and overcoming great odds. While none of us are “superheroes”, I think we can all relate, because we often feel in life as though we’re surging against the current, always trying to achieve more with less, desperately wanting to do the right things for the right reasons…but sometimes finding that clarity of thought is not always as quick to arrive as we would hope.
There is a poignant moment in the original and the more recent remake of Superman (2006) when the voice of Jor-El, Superman’s father, (who is played by Marlon Brando – he’s an old actor even now…he’ll be “vintage” by your time…but check him out, he’s very renowned for his acting) reflects on his love for his son and knows that he will face struggles in his life, saying, “You will make my strength your own. You will see my life through your eyes, as your life will be seen through mine. The son becomes the father. And the father, the son.”
As we inch closer to your birth, I’ve been thinking a lot about those words and what they mean not only for our relationship, but also what they’ve meant for the relationship with my own father. I hope you get to know him well. He’s been a guiding force in my life, someone who has always exhibited patience (God knows he needed it with me many days), great strength of character and will, a quiet and remarkable Love for his wife and children, and, without a doubt, an extraordinary sense of humor.
I remember once sharing an evening with him and a cocktail or two. He talked about his own dad, Lloyd – but everyone apparently called him “Red” for his bright hair. Your Great Grandfather was quite a card and a talented musician – he also had a knack for making friends and winning the adoration of those around him. Or at least that’s what my Dad told me. When we spoke, my Dad lamented over the fact that no matter how hard he tried, he would never be as loved and well liked as his own father before him. I didn’t believe it then, I don’t believe it now – I haven’t met a person who is not enamored with my father from the time they meet him…he just has a way with people that sets them at ease.
“The Son Becomes the Father….” Despite my father’s apparent doubts in some aspects of his own father-son comparison, as it relates to his parenting, I can say that my father did a hell of a job. He provided, he loved, he taught, he comforted, he protected. As I think about it, none of those descriptors should be in the past tense…or more accurately, they should be stated in the past and the present tense. He’s never stopped. He made the transition from Son to Father…and now I find myself at those same crossroads. Much like he compared himself to his father, I find myself hoping that I am able to do as well as he.
I’ll see you in a little over five months, Baby Erickson. I hope you’re looking forward to it as much as I am.
Travase (a/k/a “Proud Pappa”)