Thursday, May 2, 2013

Giving our children wings

The other night my wife and I were hanging out together in the quiet part of the evening (after putting two out of three kids to bed) and she asked me if I was aware that there was a comic book superheroine whose codename was Mockingbird. That of course is one of those dangerous questions because the short and simple answer is “yes” but I am not naturally inclined to give short and simple answers, particularly when the most obvious expansion is “yes of course I know that and you know I know that because there are a zillion comic books in the basement of this house we share” and if I get that far I will be perversely tempted to prove this fact, which I just asserted should already be accepted as given, by recounting in detail the highs and lows of the character’s fictional biography. However, I always strive to not be quite so much of a jerk (out loud) so I reined it in and said, “Yes, I know Mockingbird.”

The reason my wife was asking, as it turned out, was because it had occurred to her that I am still casting about for blogonyms for our offspring, and one approach suggests itself due to the fact that all three of the birds which we’ve adopted as the totemic spirit guardians of our babies map to specific comic book superhero identities as well.

Mockingbird was the last piece of the puzzle, as she is admittedly not an A-lister (in the comics she was married to Hawkeye, aka the bow-and-arrows guy from the Avengers, so who knows, if that blockbuster franchise ends up getting six sequels the broader movie-going audience may end up very familiar with Mockingbird as well). The Crow has had his own movie (one which I never shut up about!) and Hawkman was, of course, one of the Super-Friends (at least in the expanded Challenge roster versus the Legion of Doom, which is basically the only roster worth remembering). Coincidentally, the genders line up nicely here, too, in that the Crow and Hawkman are boys and Mockingbird is a girl (a blonde, at that). There’s also an appealing balance to my non-favorites-playing inner geek in that one character is from an independent comic, one is a Marvel character and one is a DC character. It is an idea with merit!

My wife put a further spin on it that I could use the secret identity given names of the three characters to put another layer of distance between the monikers and the reference, which is a good idea in theory but breaks down (in my opinion) in practice. Because the kids’ handles would then be (in birth order): Eric, Bobbi and Carter. None of those strike me as quite fantastic enough. At any rate, the matter remains under consideration.

The real-world tie in to all of this is the fact that yesterday my wife took all of the kids down to the local elementary school so that the little guy could be registered for kindergarten in the fall. He’s been leaving the house to go to something akin to school for years now, but nevertheless his imminent entry into the public educational system feels like a very significant leaving-the-nest moment. I don’t really expect it to be easy for any of us, at first, but it’s important and a good thing and I do expect that before too long it will be hard to remember there was ever a time when the little guy wasn’t a five-day-a-week student. He just needs to spread his wings and fly.

1 comment:

  1. To make the names more fantastic, why not make 'em "Draven," "Agent 19," and "Katar?"