I never really thought of it until I sat down to write this, but I grew up in the best of times.
Don’t worry, I don’t feel like adulthood is the worst of times. What I mean about growing up is more in a pop-culture sense.
Early childhood in the ’80s consisted of He-Man, hair bands and Hulkamania. I came of age in what I consider to be the best era of music . . . ever.
Hair bands gave way to grunge and He-Man turned into Austin Powers. As for Hulkamania? Well, that led to what eventually became known among WWE (formerly WWF) fans as “the Attitude Era.”
Man, those were the days. When Stone Cold Steve Austin was flippin’ birds and drinkin’ beers . . . all after “stompin’ a mudhole in someone and walkin’ it dry,” (shoutout to Jim Ross for that one!), when Degeneration X crotch-chopped everything in sight and, of course, when The Rock was layin’ the smackdown on everyone.
Even if you’re not a wrestling fan, chances are you’re at least marginally familiar with The Rock. You may know him better now as Hollywood superstar Dwayne Johnson.
It took a while for Dwayne to become The Rock. He went through different manifestations (as many pro wrestlers do) before finally becoming the “jabroni-beating, la-la-la-la, pie-eating, trailblazin’, eyebrow raisin’, People’s Champ, The Rock!” I think I’m approaching gimmick infringement territory, but I promise, it’s necessary to understand where I’m going here.
Part of what turned Dwayne Johnson into The Rock was his propensity for referring to himself in the third person. It was never as easy as saying to his opponent, “I’m going to go into Madison Square Garden, kick your ass and walk out as the new WWE champion!”
No, no, no. For The Rock, it had to have a little more panache. OK, a LOT more panache. When The Rock picked up a microphone, you knew you were in for some entertainment. Typically, it would go something like this, “Well, The Rock says he’s gonna take his size 16 boot, shine it up real nice . . . then The Rock is gonna take his boot, turn that sumb!ch sideways and stick it straight up your candyass!!”
This will get less graphic.
I never thought the heroes of my youth would come back to haunt me, but I’m afraid of what’s happening lately. Makena, my middle child, has suddenly taken to referring to herself in the third person.
I didn’t really think much of it at first, mainly because she would only do it when we would ask simple questions like, “what do you want to drink?” Out of the blue, she started responding with, “Makena will have milk.”
Ok, I thought, just a little quirky thing that she’s picked up, no big deal. But then, it started creeping into other aspects of life. When it’s time for school? “Makena needs to get on her iPad!” When she wants to go outside to play? “Makena’s gonna go ride her scooter!!”
What really got me nervous though, was when she came to “attack” me (like many fathers, I also serve as a jungle gym and heavy bag for my children) one day. She came running at me and just before leaping on to me she screamed, “Makena’s gonna get you, daddy!!!!”
“Great,” I thought. “Now she’s cutting promos on me.”
I face a dilemma. Do I try to reign this in now and let her develop into a “normal” adult? Or do I nurture the natural entertainer inside her and hope that she becomes the next Becky Lynch?
Apparently, I won’t have much time to decide. Makena just started shining a boot . . .