manly monday: jj of baby o!

I know, I know: I’ve been slacking on the Manly Mondays. I actually have no good reason for last week’s lack of a Manly Monday post except my own forgetfulness. The lovely JJ (baby daddy of the sweet Sarah, who blogs over at Baby O) sent me his Manly Monday post exactly on time and I promptly saved it, made a mental note to schedule it to post last Monday, and then plum forgot. Oops! Blame mommy brain, please.

So, a week late, here is a sweet post from JJ about his darling Eloise. I have loved that this feature gives fathers a chance to reflect on, well, fatherhood. JJ does just that here, sharing that inexplicable way our children have of renewing our faith in the good–in possibility, optimism, and hope. The Star Wars imagery he uses below is really just right: our children can absolutely save us from The Dark Side. Enjoy!

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Fatherhood, Redemption, and the Star Wars Trilogy

There were things I was expecting when we found out Sarah was expecting; strange food urges, an unbelievable birth experience, dirty diapers, lifestyle changes, and an unrelenting love for a yet unmet person. What I wasn’t expecting was how my little baby girl, Eloise, would change my entire perspective on life. I didn’t consider myself a dark person, but as a one-time student of history and an observer of global goings-on, I was left with little doubt of the darkness people are capable of.

I can’t really explain why I stopped believing in the dark side of people, but I know when I did. Ellie was just a couple of weeks old when she started holding her head up on her own… well, trying to hold her head up on her own. Her head would wobble and then straighten; she would stare at me and her eyes would widen as if looking for some confirmation of her success; some acknowledgement of her efforts. I saw in those wide eyes the struggle that we all go through to grow. That reoccurring determination somehow filled me with a renewed faith in people. Each one of Ellie’s new accomplishments reinforces that faith; as she struggles to stand, as her eyes follow the rattle, as she smiles wide at my funny faces.

Not long after Ellie was holding her head up, we got the chance to lounge together and watch a Star Wars marathon (thank-you, Spike TV). I couldn’t help but view these long time favorite movies of mine in a new light. While Lando and Chewie were flying into a trap and Han and Leia were leading an army of Ewoks against AT-STs, Luke Skywalker was on the Death Star engaged in the fight of his life. Luke’s struggle against the Emperor compels Vader to reject his faith in the dark side and turn to the light side once more. My new found kinship with Star Wars caused me to smile – Ellie stirred a little in my arms – I kissed her head – “my little Jedi”.

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Thanks, JJ, for such a sweet post!

My hope is to continue Manly Mondays through the end of the summer, and then retire the feature (at least for a while). I feel really lucky that so many men have contributed their words to this little blog.

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Feel free to link back if you have a Manly Monday post of your own to share!

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