November 12th, 2012
The First Time I Didn’t Want To Be James Bond

Jean and I saw Skyfall on Friday night, and it was amazing. Beautifully shot, brilliantly acted, filled with lovely touches of nostalgia for the former Bond films but clearly written as a naturalistic answer to those movies. It immediately became my favorite of the series.

But something happened this same weekend after I saw it. Like any geek worth his comic book collection, I usually have a moment where I indulge in the wish-fulfillment inherent in the James Bond franchise: when I imagine myself as the sleek, well-tailored killing machine hopping the globe in pursuit of international madmen of villainy and the sultry, magnificent women all around them. (Even John F. Kennedy wasn’t immune to the lure; the Bond books were his favorite reading in the White House, and were reportedly on his nightstand during the Cuban Missile Crisis.)

Only this time, it didn’t happen. Instead, I found myself holding my youngest daughter after her morning nap. She was in the middle of a cold, and her voice and breathing were thick with snot, and she was warm and still drowsy in my arms.

She used my forearm as a shelf for her head. She said, “Tired,” and “Good nap” and then “Cuddle.” She stayed there, totally relaxed and trusting, for five minutes without moving.

I was smiling so hard I felt tears come to my eyes. At that moment, I realized, I wouldn’t trade places with James Bond for anything. Not for anything in the world.