It is no secret by now thatThe Lego Movie is what all the kids on the playground are talking this week.
Well, actually, with it being so cold, I guess it’s what they’re all talking about as they’re inside… playing with Legos.
I catch myself singing the theme song, “Everything Is Awesome” as I’m driving you to school in the morning.
You protest, “No, Daddy, no!”
Then you immediately sing the song under your breath instead.
I feel like “Everything Is Awesome” is becoming a meme:
A meme (/ˈmiːm/; meem) is “an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.” A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols, or practices that can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate, and respond to selective pressures.
Anyone who has seen The Lego Movie can hear another person sing those three words and automatically, they just have to laugh…
Because that means that both of those people are “in the know.” It’s as if to say, “Hey, you were at the movie theatre last weekend with your kid too, for the same reason as me.”
Granted, there is the other hugely popular kids’ movie still at the theatre: Frozen.
More relevant is the sing-a-long edition.
Well, the plan is, actually, now that you’ve proven you can handle sitting through 23 minutes of movie previews, then a 90 minute movie, we’re planning on taking you to see Frozen this weekend while Nonna and Papa are in town.
I learned two things from our experience last weekend when I took you to go see The Lego Movie:
Number one: At 38 inches tall and weighing 33 pounds, you’re not quite big enough to sit in the movie theatre seat, without your legs hovering to the level of your face. So after the previews were over, you sat in my lap.
With being said, it has been established (by you) that you want to switch between sitting on Nonna and Papa’s lap for Frozen this weekend.
So in other words, when looking for seats in the theatre, I don’t have to look for a seat for you. And as we both know, even though we were there early last week, we just barely found seats.
Number two: Though the matinee started at 5:00 (5:23 after previews) and therefore, you got to bed later that night than usual, the matinee was worth the change in your normal schedule. The matinee was basically half the price it would have been for any other time.
So what I am saying is, I’m not opposed to us going to the movies more often, if for the two us, it only costs a total of 10 bucks.
Seriously, the older you get, the more fun parenting is becoming. I like this groove.
I’m starting to believe, that truly, everything is awesome!
You bought an orange Corvette for 50% off, as well as a new Lego set called Police Pursuit; featuring a classic thief driving a circa 1975 Ford Bronco and a mustachioed policeman chasing him in… of all things… an ATV.
As I read the instructions to build the set, you were eager for me to make the Bronco.
So even though I was supposed to build the policeman and his ATV first, you easily talked me into building the robber and his Bronco instead.
The first thing you noticed once I built it was that the Bronco featured a trunk that lifts up.
Therefore, you immediately began deciding which items the bad guy should keep locked in his trunk; along with the $100 bill and gold bar that came with the set.
You found a big Lego wrench from the farm set Mommy and I got you for Christmas.
Perfect. As well as appropriate.
But there was still more room in the trunk… So as I opened the small plastic baggie containing the parts for the ATV and the cop, you nonchalantly snatched the cop’s head and placed it in the truck of the Bronco.
[Insert sound of a record scratching here to imply ironic, comedic confusion like they do in movie trailers.]
The thing I love most about this story is that by no means were you trying to be funny or weird.
Somehow, you thought it was completely normal to place a human head in the trunk of an SUV.
(I’ve been catching up on Dexter now that it’s back on Netflix, so this seemed a little too familiar to me.)
After you drove the Bronco around for a little while, you decided to throw the human Lego head out onto the ground.
I don’t know if that made the situation better or worse…
Fortunately, within just a few minutes, I had the policeman’s ATV ready.
I made a father and son moment out of letting you place the policeman’s head on his body, like how just a few minutes before, I let you fasten the tires onto the wheels, and the wheels onto the axles.
The more I watched you play with your new Lego set, the more civilized the storyline got: The policeman helped the man in the Bronco and this time around he wasn’t a bad guy at all; just a man who was stuck in the mud.
By the way, you don’t yet fully understand the concept of policemen doing anything other than helping people.
They don’t pull people over for speeding or even chase down criminals…
Instead, they mainly just help people whose cars have a flat tire or are stuck in the mud.
What a sweet, innocent little boy you are, after all!
I believe everyone has multiple personalities and different versions of themselves that they reveal based on their environment. But these multiplicities of ourselves ultimately are still built on top of one default personality. My default personality is amazingly similar to the character of Peter Klaven (portrayed by Paul Rudd) in my favorite movie ever, I Love You Man.
The movie focuses on Peter’s lack of ability to make and keep strong male friendships and the difficulty that means for him in trying to find groomsmen and most importantly, a best man, for his upcoming wedding.
Most of my guy friends are scattered across the country; instantly available via text message, but not for hanging out with on a regular basis. And I’m completely okay and comfortable with that. And interestingly enough, whether it was my female-orientated major in college (English), or every work environment I’ve been in since then, I’ve constantly been surrounded by women instead of men. And again, I’m completely okay and comfortable with that fact.
Even here on Parents.com, I’m the only male parent blogger. It is simply my life’s destiny to be a guy who relates to women almost as well as I relate to men. Need I remind you, it’s mainly women reading The Dadabase.
(Granted, my wife edits out anything too masculine or overly male-driven. Recently, she had me delete several paragraphs which went on way too long about the details of a Nintendo game.)
But now I have a son. A baby boy who will eventually grow into a big boy who will eventually grow into a teenage boy and eventually a man. This means that I will ultimately have a buddy.
I will always have a reason to get to do what I want to do with my free time, as long as Jack is with me. Because I will be spending quality time with him while I do what I enjoy anyway (or at least enjoyed in my youth).
Already, I’m mentally working on a list of things I will enjoy doing that also will serve as good male-bonding, quality time with my son over the next 2 to 20 years:
1) Watch the entire series of the following movies and TV series: Rocky, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Band of Brothers, and Lost.
2) Go hiking and exploring in the woods on the weekend.
3) Build awesome Lego sets.
4) Take our bikes for a long ride in a new neighborhood.
5) Have old school Nintendo game marathons.
6) Blow stuff up with fireworks.
7) If ever can ever afford it, take him on a trip to Thailand.
Of course, this is only the beginning of my list. But I really look forward to the underlying male friendship in my father-son relationship with him.
I am adamant on being Jack’s father, not his friend. However, just like how I mentioned in the beginning that we all have different personalities, I know that a father is not simply the paternal figure of his son’s life. Being a good dad means being someone to relate to and it involves a lot of mentoring. It requires good communication and quality time.
Being a father is like being a friend, but it’s so much more than that. Yet it’s paradoxically both more casual and more demanding of respect than simply being a friend. But even though I won’t refer to my son as my friend, I will gladly call him my buddy.
Man, now I’ve got the jingle to the 80’s toy, My Buddy, stuck in my head:
“Wherever I go, he goes… My buddy, my buddy, my buddy and me!”
All pictures taken courtesy of Dave Stanley at Little River Falls in Fort Payne, Alabama.