Because I’m quite a hardcore cowboy still, this movie did not make me cry. There was mostly too much joy in any case.
It was one of those light-hearted dramas that aren’t intended to pinch at your heartstrings too much. As an occasional movie reviewer, I thought that that was pretty good story boarding. Everything was quite in balance. To counter a vulnerable and unhappy father, you had a strong elderly father who recognizes his son’s pain but continues to lead by both example and compassion. The vulnerable father in question, played by new Batman, Ben Affleck, has his hands full on more than one surprising occasion.
Forgive me guys, but I can’t remember the names of the story’s characters. But, never mind, it’s not that important at this stage. Anyway, life could not have been more tragic for Ben Affleck’s character. He starts out being quite arrogant, even to his lovely, gorgeous wife, played by Jennifer Lopez, by the way, because of his career ambitions. He’s a public relations guy, specializing in the entertainment business. Anyway, after giving his poor wife enough uphill, she goes and dies after giving birth to their daughter. What tragedy.
He goes back to Jersey to stay with his old man for a while until he can get back on his feet emotionally. This, of course, takes years. As the years go by he starts to feel more frustrated, missing his old job and all. But in the meantime, his girl grows up to be quite a sprightly young lady. Hmm, at this point of the movie, she reminded me of someone very close to my heart. This pretty, precocious seven year old girl reminded me of my very own daughter when she was that age then.
So, of course, they get to do a lot of father and daughter stuff, just like we used to do. Then a strange thing happens. Down at the video store, he meets the store clerk, quite good looking and you know what else besides. I won’t tell you what happens next, just in case you’re as liberal as this store clerk is and you allow any one of your kids to read your stuff. But Affleck’s girl notices the adult interactions between her father and this strange girl.
In the beginning, the usual issues of jealousy and other relationship frustrations creep in, but after a while the little girl and the sales clerk bond well and they become like two mature sisters together, babysitting the girl’s father towards rationalizing his emotions and getting rid of the heartbreak of losing his wife so tragically. At this point in time, I also think how lucky I’ve been with my wife and kids so far. We’ve not had such difficult issues to deal with.
And if things continue to go well for us, well, maybe we’ll never have to. Kids grow up so quickly too these days. Not that I want them to rush along with their growing up, but I am looking forward to meeting my two youngest boys halfway as a middle-aged father with his two grownup young adults. I already have two such fine kids in my eldest daughter and my eighteen year old son. He’s my pal for now.
But she’s my Jersey girl. And then I still have my wife. Remember I was telling you in an earlier post about the old cultural tradition where it’s every father’s dream to have a son as his eldest child? Well, I realized right from the beginning, when my first child first popped open her peepers that there’s no tragedy in life when this doesn’t happen. In fact, having a daughter as your eldest child could be the best thing that ever happened to you.
I mean it, really I do. And if you ask Ben Affleck’s character in the movie Jersey Girl, he’ll probably tell you the same thing. I read somewhere some years back that while its human nature for every man to want a son as his first-born; it takes a real man to have a girl first time around. So, if you’ve got two or three girls of your own, well then, you must be a real cowboy then. A Lucky Luke or Man with No Name. A true gunslinger in the emotional sense of the word.
Guys, I’ve really enjoyed typing up this post. Time just flew away. I’m in a bit of a rush to finish today’s post. Not to say that I want to be rid of you guys and all. No, nothing like that today. You see, I must get ready to go out a little later this afternoon. Because, guess what, my two grown up kids are taking me out for the rest of the day. If I know them well enough, they’re going to spoil me. Both of them texted me quite early this morning.
Both in their own wonderfully unique and loving ways wished me well for the day. And guess what, girlfriend called me ‘old man’. Really? Who’s your old man, girl? But, now this next bit was quite nice, really it was. Guess what my son called me after wishing me well for my birthday. He said this to me. He said; happy birthday, big brother. Man, how about that. What more can you ask of your kids? It’s those special moments that seem to make it all worthwhile being a dad.
All previous aches and pains just float away. And for the day you just get to count your blessings. The biggest blessings, of course, is seeing all your kids and being so proud of them.