Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Today I'm working on an article for Monday's American Spectator Online, but when I'm finished, my kids are taking me to see the new "Indiana Jones" movie.

Fatherhood is cool. My wife and I have six children, ranging in age from 5 to 19. What's so cool is that my wife does nearly all the hard stuff parenting-wise, including bearing and delivering the babies. Our second pregnancy was twin sons who weighed a combined 13 pounds, and our three youngest each weighed more than 10 pounds, so my wife is obviously a battle-hardened, decorated combat veteran of motherhood.

Fatherhood, by comparison, is a walk in the park. One of the things a Dad does is invent family-fun traditions. One McCain family-fun tradition is "Star Wars." I always liked the first trilogy (especially the 1977 original "Episode IV: A New Hope") and so when "Phantom Menace" came out in 1999 (my oldest daughter had just turned 10 and her twin brothers were not quite 7), we made a big deal of going to see it.

We re-watched the original on VHS, and I really hyped up the opening-day trip to see "Phantom Menace": "We're going to see 'Star Wars' on Friday!" My wife got in on it, using the trip as leverage with the kids: "If you don't clean up your room, you're not going to see 'Star Wars'!"

It was very much a cool-Dad activity, a family-fun tradition that was repeated with the two subsequent sequels. "Star Wars" became kind of a family in-joke. The kids would do the "Jedi mind trick" on me: "He doesn't have to eat his broccoli. These are not the droids you're looking for. Move along." I'd call the house and one of my sons would answer: "May I ask who's calling?" I'd say: "I am your father." To which the response would be: "Noooooooo!"

So, this Father's Day, everybody join in and sing the Ewok celebration song -- in barbershop quartet style:


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