From the moment he was conceived, we knew this day would come. I wasn’t sure if his 3 and a half year old mind could handle the concept but I couldn’t wait any longer. To hell with the consequences. Time to man up and hit this thing head on. Sit down son, I’m about to blow your tiny mind…it’s time you discovered the answer to ‘Where did I come from?’
We sat down together and pushed PLAY on the remote. The PARAMOUNT PICTURES logo on the screen dissolves into a real life mountain and the life-affecting title appears…
RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
I hold my tongue and my breath in eager anticipation of the question I know is about to come…
‘Who dat man in the hat, Daddy?’
And as the silhouetted figure on screen whips a gun right out of a bad guy’s hand with a stinging crack of blinding accuracy, he steps into the light and we see his face for the very first time…‘THAT my boy, is the man you are named after. THAT, is…INDIANA JONES, Dr Henry Jones Jr. His friends call him INDY and it’s time you found out exactly who he is.’
The next hour and a half was one of the most delightful experiences of my whole parenting journey. Getting to watch Indiana Jones in action through the eyes of my son and seeing him feel as much affinity for that character as I did in my own childhood. He laughed and yelled at the screen and knowing full well he couldn’t sit through the whole thing, we forwarded through the plot developing scenes and focused on the action. He’ll enjoy them just as much when he watches it again when he’s older. It was also my job to cover his eyes during the scary moments, a job that was monitored very carefully by my boy who would yell out, ‘Cover my eyes! Cover my eyes!’ at the slightest hint of any atmospheric musical changes. Still surprises me that he didn’t just cover them himself with his own hands, but that’s why I’m the Dad, I guess?
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And of course, he refers to him as ‘INDY’ Jones and was already re-enacting scenes before the movie was anywhere near finished. Brandishing my Indiana Jones hat and utilising my dressing gown cord as his ‘hoop’, which in Indy-speak, translates as ‘whip’, which he was very naturally adept at using as I soon found out after copping a zinger right to my open eyeball.
We skipped right over The Temple of Doom (that’s for another age), and went right to the beginning; the opening scenes from The Last Crusade, where young Indy (played by River Phoenix), stole the Cross of Coronado from an Indiana Jones look-a-like and fell into a box of snakes, establishing his hatred of snakes, and of course *spoiler alert, when he first pulled a whip off the wall and cracked it at a circus lion, resulting in the split (and subsequent scar), under Indy’s chin and where his iconic hat came from. All scenes that we’ve had to play out endlessly in the living room for over a week now.
Thankfully, Mumma sneakily captured a couple of our bonding moments which I’ve shared in the video below.
It fills my heart to see him get so excited over a character that I myself have loved for over 30 years. A little known fact is that my actual nickname is “Indy”, due to the crazy stunts I used to pull off dressed in my Indiana Jones outfit in my younger days, but those stories are also for another age. But it did make me realise that unless they make another Indiana Jones movie (which there is whispers about happening as an incentive for Harrison Ford to reprise his role as Han Solo in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens), then our Indy may in fact grow up pretending to be the greatest hero none of his other friends have any idea about. Which would be an absolute shame for those other kids.
Let’s not let that happen Dad’s. Pull up a couch, crack open the Bluray and lose yourself and your kids, in the adventure.