You aren’t old enough to know this about me yet, but your father is a very emotional person. It comes as no surprise then that I had a very strong reaction to “Interstellar” a movie which was just recently in theaters. In the movie the main character is a single father of two children living in a harsh dystopian future. During the movie he is faced with the decision of leaving his family for an indeterminate amount of time in order to possibly save them from the end of the world, or to stay and most likely die with them. Of the two children he has a particularly strong bond with his daughter. I have to say the filmmakers did a really good job pulling on my heart strings, I can’t imagine how I would feel to be in that situation.
There are two quotes from the main character which especially resonated with me. First when asked why he didn’t just tell his daughter that he was leaving her to save the world he responds “When you become a parent, one thing becomes really clear. And that’s that you want to make sure your children feel safe. And that rules out telling a 10-year old that the world’s ending.” I am not sure that I have yet been put in a situation that qualifies me to really appreciate this sentiment but I can understand its meaning. One of my many jobs as a parent is to create an environment that will allow you to learn, grow, and be happy so that you can go on to be the best you possible and have a family of your own.
Secondly, and this really strikes home for me, while comforting his daughter Cooper quotes is late wife after they had their first child, saying “Now we’re just here to be memories for our kids… Once you’re a parent, you’re the ghost of your children’s future.” I take two things from this line. First, as with the first quote, when we become parents our responsibility is to our children. Instead of spending the rest of our lives pursuing our dreams and making our own memories we are now focused on making your dreams and your memories a possibility. It is kind of sad but also beautiful at the same time, it is the essence of life itself. Finally, the actions we take from this point on, the things we do and say, are all laying the foundation for your future. And in that way the memories that you have of us now will be with and part of you forever. Maybe that is the true afterlife. If nothing else it is greatest motivation I can think of to be the best father possible.