the circular runner

Was Yoda a Wimp? Will My Son Think Me One?

In humor, life, media, observations on February 9, 2012 at 6:45 am

 

Recently, AlvaradoFrazier kindly left a comment on this blog making note of a question I kind of threw out without much thought. In that post, I asked whether or not Yoda was a wimp. That wasn’t really the point of the post, but I appreciated the follow up.  She thought it would make for an interesting post, and as they say (though I couldn’t say who they are) I aim to please.

So here’s my answer to the question: Was Yoda a wimp? No. Of course not.  The guy/not-really-a-guy wasn’t always whipping out the ol’ light saber all the time, granted.  But he had skills.

I’m not sure why he didn’t take on Darth Vader—probably because like most spiritual/martial masters, the guy knew that it wasn’t his destiny. There was another who The Force wanted for that task, and Yoda, not being a ball hog, was ok with the assist.  So, he wasn’t a wimp. He was a team player.

Have I convinced you?  I really don’t have much more to say on the matter, but if you want to take issue with my mastery of Star Wars knowledge, then have at it.  Please argue away.

While you’re coming up with your points of argumentation or if you just don’t give a two-penny damn, then here’s something else to mull over: yesterday, for the first time, I felt my son kicking/punching/dancing/swimming in my wife’s belly. Pretty amazing.  I know people say that. I know people have told me that a million times. But it’s different when you feel it with your hands. I like to think of myself as being imaginative, but I think I’m only good when it comes to stories about people I make up. When it comes to my life, I’m kind of like a rationalist—WAIT, I am remembering a fancy term from grad school for what I am—oh yes, I’m a radical empiricist.  That sounds so lame, but it kind of fits my situation. If I don’t feel it, hear it, smell it, I don’t get excited about things. I’m the kind of guy who when going on a trip, doesn’t think about the trip or about packing until the night before—unless I were going to Paris. But that’s because I’ve been to Paris.  Get my pain?

So, anyway, somehow in this brain of mine, when asking myself if Yoda was a wimp, I thought of my unborn son and I had a scary thought: what will my son think of me? Will he think of me as a wimp?

I have no idea. I hope he will be proud, but that’s vague. Specifically, I hope he will think of me as a model of manhood/anti-wimpyhood by which I mean not that I am never scared, but that I try to get up and face those fears.  I hope I live up to that ideal. I have to admit that I also hope my boy will appreciate that quality as I do, as my father taught me to.

But manhood has its flashier side. I am not a hunter. I was a decent athlete, but I don’t like football or lacrosse—manly sports. I was a basketball player and when I’m not being a lazy-ass, I run.  I am not a fighter, never have been.  I got into one physical altercation in my life, and I was bailed out of it by my older sister.  I still remember the event, and I remember that the real fear I felt was less that I would get knocked on the head and much more that I would hurt Paul—I can’t believe I remember his name.  The event made a mark, I guess.

Another childhood memory that made its mark: I remember going to a little carnival at the church my mom used to make me go to. I won a little statuette of a Viking who had a shield that said, “I’m a lover, not a fighter.”  Fitting for a carnival at a Catholic church.  Kind of fitting for me, too, though honestly, in school whenever the possible fisticuffs came my way, my motto was more like, I’m a joker, not a fighter.  Humor can get you out of a lot.  Also, I am 6’3”—that helped.  Will my son appreciate that—the humor not the height? Or will he be a bruiser? Someone who likes getting into it with people?

I get that impulse, too.  One of my favorite movies is Fight Club, and I get it when Taylor Durden says that “you can’t really know yourself unless you’ve been in a fight.”  I imagine there might be some of you who don’t get that, but I might even agree with the sentiment to a point. Not to get too weird about it, but there is something about stepping into someone’s space that changes you—it’s a type of intimacy.  There’s a beauty in it. That is why I think a lot of people like boxing or MMA. That is probably why the Ancient Greeks didn’t divide the notion of man-love and fighting prowess.

On the other hand, I work in a neighborhood with young people who get shot for getting into it.  Respect is the currency on the streets, and in the heat of a fight, when winning is everything, there are times when kids pull out weapons instead of dealing with a loss.  I pray my son doesn’t like the “beauty” of fighting too much, but if he does, I really pray he will not go up against someone who doesn’t realize that a fight is just a fight.

Can I say it now? I also hope that regardless of what my boy is like, that he will not dismiss me and my views of manhood. Odd, I am seeking validation from an unborn child. Maybe when it comes to it, maybe then, I will hold my ground. My views are my own, and he will have his. My strength will be to allow this to happen even if doesn’t appreciate that.

But what if he is a bully? I hate bullies. I can honestly say that the few times I have pierced through my fear of pummeling a person’s face, those times that I have shaken with anger, that I have been willing to harden and strike another, it has been when faced with a bully. It’s not nobility, on my part. It’s just something about the bully that makes me want to call bullshit with everything I have.  God, I hope my boy is not a bully. How would I react then? Would I bully him into non-bullying.  Eye for an eye makes the world go blind. Bully for a bully—what does that do?

I know these hopes are secondary. I know that I should really hope for my boy to be healthy and happy. I do. I do. But I have these concerns that have snuck up on me, that I would not have if I were having a girl.  I guess I can be proactive. As soon as he’s able, I will put him in front of the TV and play him Star Wars, and I will teach him the way of the world and the galaxy not so far away. Yoda is not a wimp.

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  1. Enjoyed this one. Read it to my daughter, a Yoda & Darth Maul fan (figure that one out-she was p.o’d when he was killed). A ‘radical empiricist’ versus an unradical one? Congratulations on your impending child, you sound like you’ll be an involved father.
    Oh…on another issue: my kids taking road trip to SF and need to know of a good vegan place (cheap eats). Any suggestions?
    “Do or do not… there is no try-Yoda

  2. Wasn’t he related to Mister Spock and could therefore not show his emotions, especially aggression?

  3. Oh, what a magnificent thing, that first kick. I still feel giddy just thinking about it. Yippee to you!
    Just wait until you really get your hands on that kid.
    I had to be a fighter, because my brother was, and he always picked fights with me, and probably because of our Irish blood. I think it’s probably biological– so many personality traits are– so you don’t have to worry about your son. Unless your wife is a bruiser, of course he could get it from her.
    I can already tell what a good dad you’re going to be.
    Now go give your wife a foot rub, would you?

  4. Nothing causes a person to look more closely at the person they see in the mirror than his or her creating a child. You’ll see things you love about yourself, and the child’s mother, that you never noticed before; and also things that you can only regret for having passed on and therefore being, in no small way, responsible for.

    I don’t suppose it helps just to say “get used to it”?

    No, I didn’t think so. :-}

    And I never believed I was pregnant until I heard the heartbeat. Radical empiricist, eh? I just always call myself cynical.

  5. […] Was Yoda a Wimp? Will My Son Think Me One? (circularrunning.wordpress.com) […]

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