For a father in the Balkans, a good male role model can be hard to find.
As the father of two beautiful girls I’ve become a much better person, learning to listen, to keep my mouth shut, and to look cool…or as cool as a dad can look.
Growing up in The Balkans, I learned a long time ago that men and women from this colorful but troubled region have a small town mentality. Our point of view makes us unable to reach a full spectrum of understanding for freedom, humanism and (with an almost humorous disability) unable to tell the difference between illusion and truth. Or, as the case is more likely, to tell the difference between conspiracy theories and real politics.
Of course there are people from the Balkan Peninsula who are actually rational, but in most cases they have emigrated. So, willingly or not, I must admit that I have a geographical flaw. I don’t possess enough material to be the best role model for my daughters. So I was lucky to have Spiderman step into that role.
And Why not?
Peter Parker is a great kid. He is righteous, a little reckless but goodhearted, and definitely open minded. Though most importantly, no matter how desperate for money, he would never use his powers for his benefit.
It’s true that Spiderman can make a mistake, after all he is in some portion only a human. He is naive, lazy, not the best or brightest in class. Yet surly, he is tender, gentle, trustworthy and very brave. He can make a mistake, but he will feel deep regret, and he will never repeat the same mistake.
No matter how much I try to be like Spiderman, I’m not even close to his superior behavior and not because he is a superhero. The simple reason – he is a better man and for my daughters I want only the best.
I hope that in time they will become addicted to Star Wars as they are now hooked on Spiderman movies and cartoons. My daughters are still very young (four and two years old) but I sincerely hope they will enter the cosmopolitan world of Star Wars. A world that will teach them to embrace people from different nationalities, faiths, and races.
The virtues of the Jedi: the sacrificed Rebel alliance members, the character of Obi Wan Kenobi, the unfortunate fate of Anakin, and the wisdom of Master Yoda can be very challenging for the minds of younglings. Heroes and villains help us understand the balance between good and evil from the very subjective point of the character’s experience.
Dark vs. Light in perpetual battle, without even the slightest chance of resolution to the conflict. An ongoing war, where yesterday’s losers are next year’s winners.
Being a father is the most challenging thing in my life.
I constantly think that I have no right to make even a single mistake while parenting. However, I’m constantly making them! I even make the same mistake twice, or sometimes I’m so tired or pissed off that I’m not even capable of communicating with my kids. I know this is wrong and I’m aware of it. The best thing to do in those moments is apologize to my daughters.
Beyond my personal flaws, my family exists in very dubious surroundings which consist of people who are coming from different origins, religious groups, and nationalities. Instead of celebrating this multiculturalism, the region is in a constant state for uneasiness, discomfort, pain, and misery. The virtue of clerical leaders, corrupt politicians, and greedy businessman is something that I want to keep away from my daughters.
Being a father teaches me that in many cases it is much better to not say a word. Instead, I show a simple sign of love to my children by making enough space for Spiderman.