It’s Father’s Day here in the United States, and I’m pondering two movies I wish I’d seen.
A Wrinkle In Time was one of my favorite books as an adolescent. Mystical and scary, it follows 13-year-old Meg Murry as she works to rescue her scientist father using a tesseract. It’s all astrophysics and, to be honest, I didn’t understand much of the science behind it. I still don’t, but the story is great. Meg, her brother and their friend are assisted by three angelic women from another dimension. Their brave collaboration and perseverance help make the story. One image that never left my head: they visit a “world” where everyone is the same and everything is done in unison as decreed by some government types. Scared the hell out of me!
So here we have a hit movie directed by a woman, starring three woman and a teenage girl, from a book written by a woman, about saving a good man.
Lara Croft, Tomb Raider is the remake of the 2001 version that, for me, defined what a sexy, strong woman might look like. I would sometimes jokingly ask myself, “What would Angelina do?” This modern version tells basically the same adventurous story, about young Lara Croft looking for answers to the long-ago death of her archaeologist father. This daring-daughter story was so good they told it twice, in 2001 and 2018.
So there is no denying the strength of a father-daughter bond. It’s sad when the father is not a good person, is not attentive or commits criminal acts. But I would guess that most fathers do their best for their kids.
I know mine did. We were by no means wealthy nor were we ever hungry or homeless. This at a time when discrimination against Hispanics was still quite fashionable…and legal. But he moved us to a neighborhood with a renowned school district which, to this day, gives me bragging rights.
He is by no means perfect; I know his flaws. But we had breakfast this morning and it was, by turns, funny and sad. I want a better life for him than he envisions for himself. I want to be like Meg Murry and save him. The difference, though, is that Meg’s father accepted the rescue. Mine is resigned to a subjugation he doesn’t deserve.
As a parent, I found that I was very much like my dad. He listened to — and liked — some of our music. He chatted with our friends like they were humans, not hooligans. He had great loyalty to extended family and the New York Mets. He worked hard to provide for five kids and an unsupportive spouse.
And that scared me. I became stronger and now feel sorry for Dad and for the old me. I wanted a better Father’s Day for him but our simple breakfast seemed to make him happy, so I’m happy for him.