Colin at Six


Colin can see Star Wars!!!

Yup, we’ve hit one of those pivotal milestone birthdays. Sure, he has some biggies ahead – those precious days where someone will toss him his first set of car keys, slide him a ballot or pour his first icy cold cerveza – but those are tales for a different day, hopefully one the looms deep in the distance – in a galaxy far, far away.

All that matters now is that Colin has hit that magic age where he can graduate from a strict diet of PIXAR and Noggin and move onto to more grown-up pursuits, starting with those beloved space-faring adventurers permanently ingrained in my noggin.

Six just seems to be the right age – both for Star Wars and for being a boy. For starters, it makes sentimental sense. I was six when I first saw Star Wars. Well, actually, it took two outings to actually see the flick. The first time, my Mom and Dad took my sister Jenna and I to a Drive-In on the North Shore. The playbill called for a double header – H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds as lead-in to the main event, Star Wars. The problem with Drive-In theaters is they can’t unspool the celluloid until the sky deepens to just the right shade of twilight – meaning, on that hot August night, my sister and I whiled away the hours running ourselves ragged – dashing between parked cars, dodging mosquitoes the size of Banthas and wailing the same tired refrain echoed throughout that dusty expanse of Revere Beach real-estate – “When’s the movie gonna’ start?”

And when it was time to roll film, we had 85 minutes of George Pal’s spectacle to slog through before we could finally lock eyes upon Lucas’ love-letter to generations of fanboys. And truth be told – War of the Worlds was a pretty effective thriller. It’s just, the impatience of a six-year old boy hopped up on Red Vines and Fanta wears thin quickly. I tried to tame the neural tempest by revisiting those fresh schoolyard tales – as some kid who had been the first on our block to see the flick decided to give everyone the minute-by-minute play-by-play. Going in, I knew all about Han Solo’s kick-ass capping of Greedo before that loathsome lizard could draw a shot but damn’t, I wanted to see it for my own eyes.

Finally, the Martian Invaders caught a wicked case of the sniffles and the last ship crashed down hard in Grovers Corners and Gene Barry laid a big, fat wet one on Ann Robinson. Fade to Black. Roll Credits.

The credits scrolled down the screen – white on black – and then a curious thing happened. The credits flip-flopped. Amber text began working its way in reverse, climbing up the screen and seemingly out into the deep, dark recesses of space. The words went on forever and I found myself missing a few words here and there. In fact, they were blinking in and out of existence in a strobe-like effect. I realized what was happening here. The sugar high! All that running!! H. G. FRIGGIN’ WELLS!!! I was crashing. I was falling aslee…

And then I came to – in my own bed, staring at a three-inch statuette of Chewbacca, hoisting his bowcaster aloft and mocking me with his mirthful growl. I slept through the whole damned thing.

All that was rectified as we later made a pilgrimage to an indoor theater, during daylight hours, to insure I didn’t miss out on all the fun my schoolmates were having. And I thrilled to the adventures of that heroic hayseed Luke (while secretly jonesing for Han Solo to grab more screen time) and the film, and both experiences, lodged a stone in my mental mosaic.

And decades would pass.

And I would learn that I was to be a Dad.

And I would thrill to discover my first born would be a son.

And I made a mental note – that although the die hadn’t been cast, and my son would be free to experience the world completely and take from it what he deems most interesting to him, without pressure from his mother or me to fit any particular mold – That this was his life! – at one point, he would turn six years old and would be invited to sit down with his dear old Dad and take in a movie. A modern fairly tale crafted for the masses but made for six-year-old boys just learning to control their powers and shape their own dreams.

Today my beloved son Colin turns six. He possesses a fierce curiosity and intelligence that stuns his Mom and I daily with his perceptions of how the world works. His current interests take him into more creative endeavors and while every Dad initially harbors dreams of fathering the next All American, eventually we spy ourselves in our progeny and vice-versa. While my buddies were lacing up for Little League, I was studying Spielberg, seeking to soak the magic from a real live wizard.

Seeing Colin gravitate towards more artistic, creative endeavors tickles my heart.

It’s that very moment when you realize your boy is more like you than you ever thought possible. And you realize you’re a better man than you usually give yourself credit.

For you have had a hand in bringing forth a vital life who has truly changed the world – in his own personal measure.

The force is strong in this one.

Happy Sixth Birthday – Colin Edward.


Comments now closed (12)

  • Aww…sweet. I knew we would be in for a treat today and I was right. Nice post, as always. And thanks for the tip of the snack-cap to Red Vines, they remain my favorite candy-even to making special trips to Wal-Mart to get the 2 pounder….

    We took Jase to see Star Wars when he was 3 1/2, also at the drive-in, the one in Braintree. He wore his ‘jammies and his Superman bathrobe, and he probably made it through, since it was the first show on the twin-bill.

    Happy Birthday, Colin! With your viewing of Star Wars, you will also be allowed to “COLLECT THEM ALL” of the figures you will now need. Or,better still, go get your Dad’s.

  • happy birthday to your little boy. star wars is a big deal!!! pete saw it at 5 and some odd months because his big cousin timmy is GOD and since he saw it, pete had too….and in turn, haley has too. her favorite show right now is star wars the clone wars. she claims she will be a jedi when she gets older. ahhhhh to dream.

  • Ed~
    I hope that someday Colin gets to sit down and read what his father has written both for him and about him, because if he feels an ounce of the love I can feel for him through my very nice, sleek imac screen that boy will accomplish GREAT THINGS!!!!

    The gusto that you attack life with has to rub off on your kids and I can only say that I am at the same time happy for your kids that they have a father as cool as you and jealous of your kids that I didn’t have a dad half as cool as ED HUMPHRIES!!!!!!! <3<3<3

  • Wonderful post, Ed! And happy birthday Colin!

    I envy him these first journeys into the amazing galaxy created by Lucas (y’know, before he went crazy…) I still remember that trip to the drive-in and meeting Luke, Han, Leia and of course, Artoo and Threepio.

    He’s taking his first step into a larger world…

  • Happy birthday Colin. Ed,the question is are you going to start him off on “Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope” or do you start off with “Star Wars Episode I – Phantom Menace? I am pretty sure I know the answer…

  • Hi Eddie! Why don’t I remember the things you remember? I look up to you so much and can’t say enough about your creative potential. I know you have been let go from your job and I’m sorry but this is your chance.You are so gifted and you need to show the world. You have always been a dreamer, well make your dreams come true. I put you up there with Stephen Spielburg. Your talent is extraordinary and I really think you should use this time to create a new beginning for yourself. I even wrote Abc about your lost website. I believe in you… Love Jenna
    I am sendind gifts for Collin And Aria for their Birthdays.

  • When did our little boy get so big! You are right, he is more and more like you all the time. Some day when he can read and understand your intellectual writing style, he will really appreciate it. Maybe he will even model his own writing after it. Can’t believe he is reading so much already. He must get that from you too. 🙂 I agree with Jenna, not that I havn’t told you in person, but I will put it in writing. Everything happens for a reason and I believe that you were laid off so that you can find a better job doing something you actually enjoy! Let’s keep our fingers crossed and I will continue to pray that you find a job that makes you happy. Love Always, Andi

  • @Chris and Ed, I am pretty sure I know the answer too but still curious. Also, will you let him continue soon after with the “sequels”(V or II)? For example, my son saw the first two Harry Potter movies and loves them, and wants to continue but we’re stopping at 2 for now.

  • If we weren’t always dressed in our PJ’s at the drive-in, I am convinced we wouldn’t have fallen asleep as much as we did, but it was always so cool to be a kid, in a car, in your PJ’s and watching a flick. Or at least half of one.

    As for little man, I need to get out there soon for some couch drops and tickling. Don’t think I have been out since January(?) and I better be quick about it because he’s getting too big for this old guy to put him on the ceiling for much longer. Happy Birthday!

  • Great writing once again. It appears that my son Brendan is 4 days older than Colin. He and his brother love to go to my parents house to play with my Star Wars toys from “the olden days”. It is nice when they take interest (without nudging from you) in the things that you enjoyed while growing up.
    Belated Happy Birthday to Colin.