One of the TV shows I watch is Heroes. It’s not like the typical super hero show where the main character defeats a villain in every episode. Heroes is about ordinary people discovering they have extraordinary abilities. This post isn’t about the TV show. It’s about ordinary parents forming an extraordinary connection with their children.
When I use to work for a soul sucking corporation, one of my co-worker told me his wife plays video games with their son. When he told me this, my first impulse was to ask him why he was telling me this. Instead, I asked him if his wife likes video games. He said no, but it’s an opportunity for his wife to bond with their son. An opportunity to spend some time together, do something their son enjoys, and make a connection with each other.
In our neighborhood, there’s a mother and son who likes to go on walks together. They walk on opposite sides of the street with baseball mitts and play catch while they are walking. Even more amazing is that I have never seen either one of them drop the ball. What an extraordinary connection! When that boy grows up, I bet he’s going to have fond memories about playing catch with his mother.
When our kids are young and cute, it’s easy to bond with them. But as our kids grow older, our relationship with them changes…our connection weakens and they start to lead their own lives. My oldest daughter, Princess M, is six now. Our relationship has changed significantly in the last three years. Until she turned three, I was at the center of her universe. I was her playmate and she clung to me like the way a baby monkey clings to its mother. Then Spiderboy was born and our bond was broken. Princess M started clinging to Mommy Forever and our relationship has never been the same…I was no longer at the center of her universe. And when Princess M started kindergarten, our bond weaken even more. Now she has other kids to play with. I was no longer her playmate of choice.
Even though my relationship with my daughter has changed, we still share a common interest…super heroes. Every Saturday morning, my two oldest kids and I watch the Legion of Super Heroes and Batman. It’s something they both look forward to each week. Their interest doesn’t end with the cartoons. They both also like to watch my super hero DVDs. They like to ask me about the characters and I enjoy telling them about the super heroes…their names, powers, and little things I remember from the comic books I use to read as a child. When my kids grow up and have their own kids who are into super heroes, Princess M and Spiderboy may even remember our special time together.
In time, my kids will lose their interest in super heroes. When that time comes, we’ll just have to find something else to connect with. That’s what parents do.