MUG’S GAME

It’s that time of the year again… When retailers tell us that it’s time to shop for dads and grads. Father’s Day is quickly approaching and you can rest assured that moms and kids are out there seeking the perfect gift to express their heartfelt love for the fathers of their children and their good ol’ dads.

Of course, these gift givers — the fruit of your loins and the loves of your life — go to great lengths to find that one token of appreciation that speaks volumes regarding how much they love and admire the patriarch of their household. They seek out the one esteemed artifact that declares to the world that dad is revered and respected like none other.

Or, they get you a coffee mug.

But, dads… Don’t dismiss that java vessel as a casual ceramic curio to be regulated to the back of the cupboard with the “I Hate Mondays” and the “Greetings From Seattle” coffee mugs. If you receive a “Best Dad Ever” or “World’s Greatest Dad” coffee mug from your kid(s) and/or significant other I urge you to look at it as more than just a declaration of what the gift giver thinks of your parenting skills (or that they are uninspired gift givers).

Shortly after my own father passed away, and the birth of my own daughter (or maybe was just before my daughter was born), my brother gave me a “Best Dad Ever” coffee mug. He had originally gotten it for our father, and I’m not sure if he had ever given it to him or not, but it was mine now. And, I was touched by the gesture. We both liked our dad — a lot. (Should I have used the word “love” there? I mean we did love him. Of course we did. But we never through that word around between the three of us growing up. We loved our dad. We respected our dad. We admired our dad. But, we really, really, really liked our dad.)

I drink from my “Best Dad Ever” mug often. We’re talking most mornings, here. It’s big and it holds a lot of coffee. About a year after Jean Louise was born, around the time of her first birthday party, I was having my morning cup of mud in my “Best Dad Ever” mug and I read what was printed on it over and over. Best dad ever. Best dad ever. Best dad ever. And then it donned on me. It was missing two words at the beginning…

“Be The…”

“Be The Best Dad Ever.”

At that moment, my favorite coffee mug became my everyday mantra — “Be The Best Dad Ever.”

The mug isn’t declaring to the world (or my wife and kid, who are the only two people in my home in the mornings to see me drink coffee) that I am the “Best Dad Ever.” It is reminding me that I need to strive “To Be The Best Dad Ever.” If my brother had given me a “World’s Greatest Dad” mug the same to preceding words would apply… “Be The World’s Greatest Dad.” And, I would be reminded each and every morning that I sipped my morning coffee that I would aspire to the the world’s greatest dad.

It’s not likely that for whatever reason I’m going to stop trying to be the best dad ever and the world’s greatest dad. My daughter is rather inspirational when it comes to that department. But, I don’t want to get cocky. It’s not enough to just assume that I’m the best dad ever. I need to do my best “TO BE” the best dad ever for (in my not so humble opinion) the best kid ever. Your motivation may very.

Oh! If want, for the dads that might want an extra kick in the pants with their morning coffee and need a little something a little less subtle, you can order a “Be The World’s Greatest Dad” coffee mug here, or a “Be The Best Dad Ever” coffee mug here. Order for the world’s greatest and/or best dad ever in your life, or for yourself. Happy Father’s Day.

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THE FORCE IS STRONG WITH HER

Disney and Lucasfilm have answered my prayers — as a Star Wars fan and the father of a little girl who’s destiny is to be a Star Wars fan as well — with Forces of Destiny.

Announced earlier today, Star Wars Forces of Destiny shines the spotlight on the women of the galaxy far, far away. According to StarWars.com

“Rey, Ahsoka Tano, Jyn Erso, Princess Leia, Sabine Wren, and other icons of a galaxy far, far away will take center stage in Star Wars Forces of Destiny — a new animated micro-series and initiative celebrating some of Star Wars‘ most beloved and inspirational characters.”

Star Wars Forces of Destiny will launch in July with a series of animated micro shorts on the Disney YouTube channel, and will explore all-new adventures of the Star Wars galaxy’s most beloved heroines. Following in the fall of 2017 will be a two-part TV special with eight additional shorts to be aired on the Disney Channel. These animated adventures will be canon and will feature the voice talents of Daisy Ridley (Rey), Felicity Jones (Jyn Erso), Tiya Sircar (Sabine Wren), Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka Tano), and Lupita Nyong’o.

After hearing of the Forces of Destiny announcement on the first day of the Star Wars Celebration 2017, I really don’t care if they do release the much-awaited trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Episode VIII) or not. I’m content with the news that there will be a Star Wars specifically for my little girl. That’s not to say that the current Star Wars movies, cartoons, books, toys, and other merchandise isn’t suited for my daughter — it very much is. Star Wars is for EVERYBODY! But this will be a Star Wars tailor-made for her and other girls that often have to shop for their Star Wars t-shirts in the boys’ wear section.

When a franchise has such strong female characters as Princess Leia Organa, Padmé Amidala, Ahsoka Tano, and others, it seems like a no-brainer that these heroines should be promoted and revered to inspire not only girls, but everybody. For too long, when it comes to media franchises such as Star Wars or Marvel Superheroes, girls seem to get the short end of the stick. Being heroic is not a virtue to market only to boys.

And, with an accompanying  line of “Adventure Figures” (an amalgam of traditional dolls and action figures), I know what Jean Louise is getting for Christmas and her birthday, and probably the any occasional time we just might happen to go to Target. Not to mention the books, apparel, bedding, and other must have accoutrements for any self-respecting little Star Wars fangirl.

Here’s a nearly 10-month old Jean Louise as Princess Leia on Halloween 2016…

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