Life lessons from Calvin’s mom
I’ve been subscribing to the Calvin and Hobbes daily comic feed for a few years now.
With time, the comic has only become more brilliant. The jokes I laughed at as a kid are made better with the context of twenty additional years, and the longer copy passages are more pointed with a life reference to play off of.
Over the past nine months another new twist has been added. I no longer read the comic through the eyes of just Calvin. I read it through the eyes of his parents.
This shows the extent of Bill Watterson’s masterwork. There is an immense level of detail in each strip, much of it focused on the complex relationships between each character. Calvin’s parents are real parents, people who love everything about their son, yet are driven to madness by his actions. They laugh with him, console him, get angry and sigh with relief.
All of the characters in Calvin and Hobbes are real – even Hobbes. This week’s story arc – where Calvin comes across a dying raccoon – features some of this realism with one of the most touching moments in the Calvin and Hobbes canon. (Yesterday’s comic and today’s comic)
And as a parent, I can’t help but identify with Calvin’s mother, who feels just as helpless, even when her son thinks she can fix anything in the world.
Our children think the world of us. For a short amount of time, we’re their idols. We can do no wrong. We can fix everything.
Someday, they’ll discover that we’re mere humans as well. But until then, there’s an immense amount of pressure.
After all – you don’t get to be a dad without being able to fix everything just right.