“Star Wars” Generations

When the movie company released the trailer for the new “Star Wars” movie, “The Force Awakens” a few weeks ago, I headed straight for YouTube. But I wasn’t alone — I knew that my boys, ages 4 & 3, would love it, too.

We worship at the “Star Wars” altar.

And what I’ve learned is that “Star Wars” is one of those seminal cross-generational experiences for fathers and sons, mothers and daughters and entire families.

When I was a kid, I had “Star Wars” curtains, wallpaper, blankets and sheets. I played endlessly with my Luke, Leia, Han Solo and Darth Vader figures. I pretended I was in an X-Wing fighter flying into the Death Star and I was endlessly jealous of that kid across the street who had a Millennium Falcon. Secretly, I still am.

I didn’t plan to indoctrinate my children into the cultural phenomenon of “Star Wars” but I certainly didn’t shed a tear when they asked to start watching “Clone Wars” or “Star Wars Rebels.” In fact, I rejoiced. It not only meant that they would likely derive the same type of enjoyment that their father did from the movies and toys but it also meant that I now had an excuse to watch all these shows and dig out my old memorabilia.

These are the moments that I live for in parenting — when my kids and I can bond over a shared interest, creating memories that will last long past their childhood. My dad and I share a love of sports. He loves to tell me of the days when he would feed me a bottle while watching Maryland Terrapins basketball games. Fast forward to my pre-teen years. I would fall asleep listening to the Baltimore Orioles games on my handheld radio long before the game ended. When I awoke there would be a note on the breakfast table from my father, telling me the outcome of the game in vivid, play-by-play detail. And even as I endured my teenage years and early adulthood, the one topic that my dad could always connect over was sports.

Sports talk peppers almost all of our conversations these days and those common experiences — attending games, watching games, hanging out at bars sharing a meal, a beer and a game have formed the arc of our relationship. It has allowed us to stay close and stay connected and been the foundation for a friendship that long ago transcended trivial sports and deepened into a lifelong bond.

That’s what I want with my children. Who knows if it will be “Star Wars” or sports, fishing or physical fitness? There will be moments and experiences that my boys and I will bond over and we’ll carry those moments in our hearts and minds as they journey toward adulthood and beyond.


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About Happiest Daddy

Two boys, one wife and a ton of material. I live for family and I'm one of the most blessed people you will ever meet.

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