The Dark Side Meets Mother Love

“Mom, who do you like more, Boba Fett or Jango Fett?”

I’ll admit I’m Star Wars illiterate.  I remember the first movie in the theatre when I was about seven (Jeb’s age now) and I could keep the main characters straight:  Luke Skywalker, Princess Lea, Darth Vader.  I followed Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi but then my attention turned towards things more earthly.

Jeb’s current focus is the two-for-one-dream-come-true combo of Legos and Star Wars.  Not only can he build intricate models of starships, these Lego sets come with little figures representing specific Star Wars characters.  Jeb and his friends now spend time trading “Lego Guys.”

Boba Fett

So much for The Dudes (the subject of a past post).  It appears Jeb has launched beyond the earth plane, swapping the circa 1950’s “Indians” and soldiers for beings of more galactic origins.

I inquire.  “They are both ‘Fetts’.  Does that mean they are related?”

“Yeah.  Jango Fett is Boba Fett’s dad.”

I reach for a figure.  “Is this Jango Fett?”

“No!” he sounds incredulous.  “That’s Boba Fett.”

“Do you have Jango Fett?”

“No.  He’s very rare.”

“So are the Fetts on the Dark Side?”

“Yes.”

“What do you like about them?”

“They have powers and can do things that the Jedis can’t do.  And they have jet packs.”

From what I can gather, Jeb has seen Star Wars movies with his dad and information about these cosmic lineages are also shared among the boys on the playground.  He and I have never watched a Star Wars movie.  At this point, I have given up the ideal protection bubble I would like to have around him, shielding him from all things weapon-related.  Tiny Lego figures in sets for six-year olds, hold miniature guns.  Ugh!

Jeb finishes his breakfast and moves to clear his dishes.  I’m making the bed.  Morning time is coming on outside and the birds sing with the roosters.

Jeb hums a favorite tune at the sink.  It’s the theme in Star Wars, often used as the camera pans from space and zooms into the ship.  It’s that dramatic orchestration that falls heavy  with the black footsteps of Darth Vader:  “dah, dah, dah-dah, dah-dah-dah, dah, dah, dah”.

Jeb gives the dark and foreboding tune a new twist, adding words to the rhythm.

“I-I-I-I love my ma-ma-mom-y!”

I can tell he’s in that in between world.  Not even fully conscious that he’s singing, just rinsing dishes and singing low to himself.  He’s in the land between earth and space.  He lives in that middle realm:  talking prowess with the boys and still cuddling at home with mom.  It’s a precious, tender balance.  I brace for the day the scales will eventually tip and he’ll propel out into orbit forever.

For now, I’ll take the Dark Side’s theme song and smile that some love has slipped between the notes.

Vader Breath

“You can’t engage in this practice every day and not change.”

This comes from my Ashtanga yoga instructor who is welcoming me back to the shala like a prodigal daughter – open arms and smiling with encouragement after my two-year hiatus.

It’s day four and I’m in the getting-my-behind-kicked phase of my practice.  My arms ache and I’m continuously humbled into modified postures due to my lack of strength.  One of the yogis has scattered jasmine flowers around my mat, the fragrance wafting up every time I do a forward fold.  “Welcome back.”

courtesy of Wikipedia

Our practice space is in the center of town – what’s called the “Parish Hall” and it is shared by the community as a gathering spot for everything from hula and Zumba classes to AA meetings.  In the mornings from 7:30 – 9:30am, it’s filled with bodies fogging the windows with powerful ujjayi breathing.

Yoga infiltrates life beyond the two-hour practice time, as well. Yesterday after a trip to the auto shop (and an hour-long wait with a squirmy and hungry Jeb) I set out to find new shoes for his growing feet.  By the fifth store I was feeling impatient, losing momentum.  It wasn’t perfect, but I did find some deep breaths come a bit more easily in the size 2 aisle of Vans slip ons.

This morning at breakfast Jeb says, “You know, it’s hard to imitate Darth Vader‘s voice because he’s always doing that breathing.”

“Yeah, well, do you remember when I used to bring you to yoga sometimes? You were five then and I’d set you up with Legos while I practiced?”

“Yeah.”

“Remember how everyone in the room was doing that deep breathing sound?”

“Yeah.”

“Kind of sounds like Darth Vader, huh?”

“Hey, it does!”

“Maybe Darth Vader is a yogi.”

“Do you think they got that breathing from Darth Vader?”

“Hmm…I don’t know about that.  I’m pretty sure the ujjayi breath came before Vader.”

I know I’ve got a little of that shadow Vader-side in me.  Maybe he’s got something to teach.

For now, I’m showing up on my mat.  Practicing.  Watching my breath and being open to change.