The normal slate of Christmas movies reminds me of a big lesson. Whether it is Elf or The Santa Clause, the recurring theme of holiday movies is the dad that never could. Unlike the Little Engine, there are dads out there that just never seem to make it to be the father they desire to be.
Dad, you have it tough. Everyone wants you to be perfect and normal like Mr. Cleaver. But Ward Cleaver is not normal. Mr Huxtable is a rarity. He just is not real. Real dads are more susceptible to mistakes.
They are not fools like most of our sitcoms of today. And they certainly need respect not parody like so many of the cartoon dads of the Simpsons and other tragedies. Those are certainly not comedic. They are sad.
Yet, like the movies, it is never too late to get it right. Robin Williams in Hook gets it right. He finds a way back to his happy thought. And that happy thought is his son. He finds a way to reestablish his family and get them back.
That movie is great. Peter Pan grows up to be too busy for his children. Then they travel to Never Land, just as he did. They get engaged with the lost world of missing dads. He has to remember who he is and go and get his children. He has to become the father he never had.
It takes the whole movie for him to find a way. Then he has to fight off the pirates of Never Land. Really those pirates are lurking inside every dad working to keep him away from his kids. He has to face them once he wakes up. Just picking up and being a great dad overnight won’t work. You have accumulated a world of pirates set on making you fail.
When he starts to fight, he has so many helpers. His wife, the woman who raised him, and Tinker Bell all rally around him and believe in him. The troop of lost boys believe in him and fight with him against the pirates. Even when his own children do not believe in him, others do.
So, Dad, face it. You have made some mistakes. But, your kids don’t have to be written up in a sad movie plot. They don’t have to reach adulthood separated from you. And, if they have already reached adulthood separated from you emotionally or physically or spiritually, you have enough inside of you to fight all the pirates of Never Land to get back into their lives.
You can do it, Dad. I believe in you. Others believe in you. We are all in this together.