Christopher Farnsworth

Author of Blood Oath, The Eternal World, and Killfile

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.


  1. Being the father of two now grown up girls (who DO still occasionally need a hug but, more often, money) I can tell you that I very much miss those days when they were little and I was the most important man in their universe.

    The James Bond of the books was always living high and fast because he was pretty sure his number would be up sooner than later and the idea of a family wasn’t exactly at the top of his wish list, particularly after what happened to the one woman he DID marry.

  2. Aw. I never had children but I have the joy of being a grandmother who adores the “job” and is good at it! There is nothing more satisfying than the pure tenderness of love freely given by a child. Especially when they don’t feel well and all they do is want to YOU to hold them. That you (meaning I) suddenly have this magnificent power is a gift I wouldn’t trade either.

    The first movie my father took me to see wasn’t Bambi or Dumbo. Nope, it was Goldfinger. James Bond and my father have always been synonymous in my head. He used to read the books to us (mom and I) at night, too. Only thing he read besides Mickey Spillane.
    Funny how Bond brings out the heart.

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