Dad, The Pro Wrestler

Captain’s Log.  Daddy Chronicles.  Diaper Date 2105.

I always wanted to be a professional wrestler.  I grew up in the WWF (now WWE) era of Hulkamania.  The training, saying your prayers, and taking your steroids vitamins, brutha. We used to act out all of the moves.  My favorite was pretending to be the Hulkster and picking up one of my buddies (Big Joey) who was pretending to be Andre the Giant.  I didn’t actually slam him, but it was still pretty cool.  We had the stomps down and the fake punches.  I could even cut a live promo in the Hulkster’s voice (still can).

So I was thinking about all the unofficial ring training that I went through in my childhood. And that’s when it hit me.  I wasn’t training to be a professional wrestler.  I was training to be a dad.

Think about it.  In wrestling they call it “kayfabe” which is essentially the preservation of a character or story.  If you hurt your arm in the ring then your arm should be hurt when you go out for a burger later.  How many times have you kayfabed for your kids?  When they try to tickle you and you have to “sell” that it tickles when really they are scratching skin from your body.  Or when you are playing hide and go seek and you have to pretend that they aren’t hiding behind the couch – even though they made more noise than an elephant burrowing between the sofa and the wall.

One of my favorite wrestling scenarios is when there is outside interference.  This usually occurs when the face (the good guy) is distracted and a heel (a bad guy) comes in and interferes with the match.  Sometimes the heel comes in with a foreign object.  While kids don’t grab steel chairs, or jump off the top of a steel cage, they do occasionally hit you with random objects or catapult off of the top of the couch/table/family pet.  If you have more than one kid, they delight in double/triple/whole team teaming you.

Parenting is like wrestling.  You are telling a story.  At times you are competing.  At times you are joining forces.  And sometimes, yes, you are rolling around in your underwear (sneak attacks can come at all times).  At times you are simply entertaining.

Another term used a great deal in wrestling is “push”.  To receive a push is when the organization tries to make a wrestler big with the fans,  And I guess that is the main job of a parent:  We are constantly trying to push our kids so that they can get “over”.  If we do our job right they look great, but if we are only worried about how we look as parents then their progress can suffer.

Granted, there are some major differences between professional wrestling and fatherhood (or motherhood if you are a mom).  There are no pyrotechnics when I walk in the room (I’m still working on that one).  There is no theme music that blares when I wake up (also working on this one).  There is no championship belt (okay, I do have a fake championship belt that I wear on the weekends).  And unless you are at Walmart/Target/Disney, there is no sold out arena audience (which many times is a good thing).

Little did I know that those hours watching wrestling would give me a sneak peek into fatherhood.  Training, prayers, vitamins, and all.

For now…Captain out.

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