Winston woke up early, like he always does. Mom needed rest, like she always does, so I rolled out of bed, pushed my glasses on, and took Winston on our weekend pilgrimage to the bagel store (On a side note, you always hear New Yorkers complain about the bagels in other cities and I always thought it was a bit trivial, but Pittsburgh’s bagel situation is worth complaining about…But I don’t need the carbs anyway).
As as we pulled out the driveway, Winston immediately launches into his Transformers trivia and telling me about his favorite robot characters from that show. He tells me how the Decepticons are evil and he doesn’t like them at all. In fact, he went on to call out some of the most evil Decepticon villains he knew, he hates Megatron and Starscream. I said to him, great heroes need great enemies to show their fullest valor. I cited examples of Britain’s taxation and tyranny uniting America’s 13 colonies, Nazi’s uniting the world, racism providing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. a platform to choose love over hate, and how Optimus Prime would be kind of lame if his worst enemy was just some gimpy robot wanted for tax evasion, no, you need great enemies like Starscream and Megatron to really force a hero’s hand in demonstrating their total capacity for greatness.
It got me thinking, that’s what’s been holding me back all these years, I’m lacking a quality villain. How will I achieve greatness without some foolish opposition that I can squash? But then I started to think about all the things parents do and have done for me, all the villainous aspects of going to work every day despite the possibility of bad bosses or lame assignments to put food on the table, the heroism of choosing orthodontic work for your child over the fashionable boots you really wanted, cheering up your kid when he walks ten batters and loses the baseball game for his team, picking up your 50 pound kid because his legs are tired and carrying him to the remaining half mile of the trail, giving your child the last bite of your candy bar…we can be heroes, well, at least until our children turn into teenagers. Then we become the enemy!