When Did I Become Darth Vader?


5 Songs

  • Carefree Highway- Gordon Lightfoot
  • Chicken Fried-Zac Brown Band
  • Somewhere With You- Kenny Chesney
  • Out Last Night- Kenny Chesney
  • Bridge Over Troubled Water- Johnny Cash

We’re in the midst of a Star Wars marathon, the boy and I.

The Empire has struck back and we’re moments away from the best part when he says, “we need to hear that famous line dad” and I suddenly wonder if after all this time being Luke I have become Anakin Skywalker, Darth Vader.

It is about ten years since the first time we watched the movie together. Back then my son screamed when Vader cut off Luke’s hand. It freaked him out and I wondered if I should have waited to show him the movie.

Some years later while we watched Return of The Jedi together he looked at me during the climax and told me he knew I would protect him from the Emperor.

“Dad, you’d do that for me, I know you would.”

It wasn’t a question for either one of us. I would take the Emperor and defenestrate him without hesitation. Mess with my kids and defenestration might be the easiest consequence of your actions.

When Did I Become Darth Vader?

I stared at the photo above and thought about how it is supposed to be of the sun rising but it could also be viewed as the sun setting.

Thought about how it mirrors life with my father and my son.

When I was a teenager I often wondered what my dad was like when he was a teen or in college. Wondered if he had always been as I saw him or if life had made him that way.

Late last year my son and I were at the park and we had an impromptu race and I realized he can out run me now.

He isn’t truly faster than I am yet but his endurance far surpasses mine not to mention he loves to run and it bores me.

But I watched him go and thought about how I wished he could have seen me at my peak. Was that ego speaking?

Hell yeah it was but it was also an acknowledgment of where my relationship is with my dad. We are finally in a position where we can be friends and I want that with my son.

But friendship isn’t something that can happen now. He is too young for that and for a while the lines are going to have to remain so that when I tell him to do something he understands it is going to get done.

For a while I am going to be the guy who knows more because you can’t screw an hold head on young shoulders and sometimes he’ll need me to make decisions my help.

We said together, “Luke I am your father” and then watched the last section of the movie and then I sent him to bed.

He hugged me good night and I told him that he is the Padawan and I am the Jedi and he laughed. “I don’t think so dad.”

And I wondered if he sees me as Darth Vader now.

5 Songs

  • First Time Ever I Saw Your Face- Johnny Cash
  • In My Life- Johnny Cash
  • You Are Loved (Don’t Give Up)- Josh Groban
  • (Don’t Fear) The Reaper- Blue Oyster Cult
  • Conviction Of The Heart- Kenny Loggins

I like to watch my children when they don’t know I am around, specifically when they are hanging out together. I like watching them talk or seeing them play a game together.

They are more alike than they know and far more in sync on many things than they can imagine. I watch them and listen to them warn the other not to let mom or dad catch/hear them and I laugh.

Many times I let them think they are getting away with something because it is not worth being a policeman and I know they understand why they shouldn’t do something.

I think about how a few weeks ago the old man held each of them in my left and right arms and how we all laughed.  I expect if I keep hitting the weights I’ll be capable of handling their combined weight for some time but that won’t matter because I am simply not tall enough to make this work for much longer.

They are getting too big and they probably won’t let me do it.

Perhaps it is self indulgent but sometimes I look at them and try to figure out what pieces they got from me, mostly personality wise and I think about whether I might be able to help them.

They make me smile.

Daughter tells me she thinks it won’t be long before she is faster than I am on land and in the water. I smile and say I don’t think so but I don’t tell her that I see how fast she is.

She is already faster than many of the girls she plays against. I don’t tell her that I expect the height difference will probably save me for a while.

We head outside with our towels and walk towards the pool, just her and I and look up at the watchful moon and wonder when I became Darth Vader.

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  1. Larry July 11, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    I really like this post and appreciated each bit.
    My younger boy enjoys this Stars War game and I’ve thought of showing him the movie but he is a softy. He probably would be scared.

    My boys have yet to surpass me sports wise and I wonder how I’ll take it when they do.

    I like to watch the boys when they don’t know I’m there. It’s like seeing the animals in their natural habitat.

    • Jack July 14, 2014 at 10:39 am

      My son once heard me say something about watching him in his natural habitat and told me I was not to treat him like a caged animal. Made me laugh. It is hard when our children start to reach that place where physically we are not the one with superior skills and abilities.

  2. Sebastian Aiden Daniels July 11, 2014 at 8:09 am

    I think it awesome that you are aware of the boundary you have to keep with your son. It is strong of you to recognize that you want to be his friends and at the same time you have to wait because he doesn’t need a friend right now, he needs a dad to help guide him. Keep up the great work : D.

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