Thursday, March 27, 2008
So my 8-year-old son recently took notice of the "Six Million Dollar Man" T-shirt I bought at a vintage shop last year. I know it seems cliche — Gen X parent trots out ironic, retro gear. Only, there is no irony. If F/X aired a marathon of "SMDM" episodes, I would be at home watching them right now. They wouldn't be nearly as good as I remember them, but that doesn't matter. Bring on the Bigfoot and Maskatron episodes.
Anyway, son was curious about the man on the shirt. Was he a superhero? ("Sort of. He was an astronaut who got hurt in a crash, and then the government rebuilt him so he could do all kinds of neat things.") Like what? ("Well, he could jump really high, run fast and beat up bad guys. He also had a bionic eye so he could see things far away.") Did he have a costume? ("Not really. He wore a red jogging suit sometimes, but mostly regular clothes.") So this was a really long time ago, when you were a kid, right? ("Mommy had the doll and everything. And he had a super girlfriend doll, the Bionic Woman.") Cool. ("Yes, sweetie. It was very cool.")
This is the kind of mother-son talk I can get behind. I don't have to grapple with my bordering-on-Deist beliefs when he asks about God or tap dance through the "Are you and Daddy going to die?" discussion. It's a hell of a lot more fun than explaining, again, why he isn't going to have a little brother or reassuring him that the big, friendly dog next door is not going to jump the fence and attack him.
Son and I are a lot alike in ways that aren't necessarily good. We are both high-strung, quick-tempered and sensitive, and often inscrutable to the people who love us. We argue. A lot. So it helps that we speak the same language about certain things and relish a good superhero fantasy. I wonder if Netflix has the DVDs.