Point Break for Parents. The Wisdom of Bodhi

Before Kathryn Bigelow was making Academy Award winning movies like ‘The Hurt Locker’, she was doing really good work with her 1991 action film, Point Break.

Point Break is the story of an FBI agent (Keanu Reeves) who goes undercover in order to catch a band of bank robbing surfers committing their grand theft dressed as ex-Presidents.  The premise alone is enough to have me glued to the television but Point Break goes one step further and has Gary Busey in it too. Gold.

But the real star of the movie is Patrick Swayze, (who you know from my Zen of Parenting post as the butt kicking bar bouncer Dalton) who commands the screen as Bodhi.  A wise soul who happens to rob banks by day then carves up a gnarly set of waves later in the day and then finishes up his day with bodacious beach parties.  If scientists were able to create a human clone by taking DNA samples from Friedrich Nietzsche, the Hawaiian Shark God Ukupanipo, John Dillinger, Jonathan Cabot from ‘Gymkata’, and threw a Farrah Fawcett wig on him, you would have Bodhi.

So you might be saying, “Yeah Jimmy, we know Point Break is a totally awesome movie and we have already attempted to round up anyone from accounting willing to surf and rob banks with us, but what does that have to do with parenting?”  I’m glad you asked.  Bodhi’s wisdom permeates into parenting as easily as he is able to get his deck to duck dive the waves.  Plus while he is violent, he isn’t too violent.  He would rather use his mind and a little bit of intimidation before he resorts to cracking patellas and crushing larynxes.  A wise risk taking person who is able to intimidate and use his hands as deadly weapons?  Sounds like a parent to me.

*Feel free to use your best Keanu Reeves voice if reading this aloud


“They only live to get radical” – Truth be told, had I not known who Bodhi was, I wouldn’t know if he was talking about a psychopathic group of gun toting steroid addled surfers or my 8 year old.  Because like those psychopathic gun toting steroid addled surfers, kids also only live to get radical.  Radical before bed. Radical before a tub.  Radical before they brush their teeth.  Kids thrive on emotion and impulse.  Sometimes that prompts them to hug you out of nowhere or clean up their rooms without you asking and sometimes, let’s just say; you would be wise to bring back up.

“But are you crazy enough?” – This is a viable question to be asked before robbing a bank, jumping out of an airplane, riding the waves of the 50 Year Storm or prior to becoming a parent because each one requires a certain level of insanity to perform.  This is the

Just like parenting, especially when your chute doesn't open.

Just like parenting, especially when your chute doesn’t open.

question you need to ask yourself prior to having kids because I’ve never robbed a bank and I have never skydived but I have been a parent for 11 years and in that time, I have said to myself no fewer than 17 thousand times, “I must be crazy”.

“That’s all I ask for, just 90 seconds of your life Johnny. That’s it.” – Sometimes as parents, all you need is a moment with your kids.  Maybe to pick up a toy, or because you need to relay to them the dangers of doing handstands on the coffee table, or you just need them to come up the stairs.  When we do need those momentary instances with our children, it is in your best interest to let them know just how briefly their services are required.  If not, you get slumped shoulders and heads flinging back so far the tops of their skulls are able to touch their T4 vertebrae.   And the last thing you need is a child who is going to go in to spasms because they are under the impression you need more than a minute and a half of their time.

“Fear causes hesitation and hesitation will cause your worst fears to come true.” – Seems like something one might say riding in a van on your way to hold up the 1st National Bank or something one might say before you give your toddler that cup with the loose lid of grape juice at your in-laws house so he can run around on their white carpet.  Hesitate for one second and your worst fears and the toughest staining liquid ever devised by man will be being absorbed by those ivory carpet fibers.

Oh my god, I didn't screw on the lid tight enough!

Oh my god, I didn’t screw on the lid tight enough!

This also reigns true when your infant goes for the steps, or the television, or the coffee pot, or anywhere their tiny unsure legs take them.  With parenting, there is no time to hesitate. There is only time to act.

“But Rosie, he’s like a machine. He’s got this gift of blankness.” – There are times I firmly believe my kids would walk out of the house without pants on because they were so wrapped up in whatever it was took precedent over clothing themselves (with kids, that could mean anything from a TV show to something shiny they found on the floor).  Kids are remarkably unencumbered by society’s (and your) rules because they are too busy daydreaming or focused on beating the next level to whatever video game they are playing.  I’ve articulated the rules, that their mom and I have had for them since birth, over and over again and each time I tell them, I get the same blank stare gazing back at me.  I’m not sure when that blankness goes away but I’m hoping it is prior to their first job interview?

Please, all I'm asking you to do is pick up your shoes.

Please, all I’m asking you to do is pick up your shoes.

“Listen you snot nose little sh@t, I was takin’ shrapnel in Khe Sanh when you were crappin’ in your hands and rubbin’ it in your face!” – Ok, so Gary Busey’s character, Angelo Pappas said this line but 1. If I’m doing a movie quote article and Gary Busey is in the movie, you better be damn well sure I’m quoting that maniac and 2. How great would it be if you could tell your kids this the next time they tell you, “Dad, you don’t know anything”?


If you want the ultimate you have to pay the ultimate price.  With kids, that means your time, your money, your sanity, and in my case, all of the hair on my head.  But I want the ultimate.  I want to be a parent because there is no other feeling like it in the world.  It’s a combination of jumping out of an airplane, landing  a choku-zuki strike into Anthony Kiedis’ abdomen, dating Lori Petty, riding the 50 Year Storm, and robbing banks all rolled in to one then multiplied by infinity.  And it is in your best interest to be prepared my friends because parenting?  Its 100% pure adrenaline.


The Beginning
About jetts31

Husband, father to two girls, dog walker, living with male pattern baldness. In addition to writing on his own site, Jimmy contributes to DadsRT, COAL.com, and the Southern Berks News. He is the world record holder in his house for 'Best Hiding Spot' during Hide and Go Seek.

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  1. Gnarliest description for parenting I’ve seen yet – and spot on, dude. The wisdom of Bodhi is not to be questioned, only followed. 🙂

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