One of the great benefits of being the dad of teenagers is my ability to use The Force at each and every opportunity. I am like a Jedi Knight, inhabiting a world of constant adventure, using The Force at every opportunity to fight evil and set the galaxy to rights.
Ok, that might be a bit of an exaggeration. When I say “Jedi Knight”, I really mean “Arsehole” and when I say “The Force”, I really mean “Arsehole Factor”.
I have this fantastic capacity to turn the once blissful world of my teens into a dystopia of pain and suffering in seconds. No light sabre needed. All that’s needed are magic words such as “have you started your homework?” or “put away your phone”. These are powerful enough to suck the air out of the room, leaving a mass of blistering resentment in its wake.
I have superpowers. At a single command, I can force my kids faces into their open palms. I can get them to roll their eyes upward into their skulls. My reverse magnetism ensures that when I enter the room, they leave immediately. I can get them to mutter swear words under their breath, and when I follow it by “what did you say?” I can predict exactly the answer I will get.
I have been practicing. Dropping them off to their friends fifteen minutes late. Serving them broccoli and carrots at dinner. Bopping to CHVRCHES at inappropriate moments. Do not underestimate the Power of my Uncoolness.
One day soon, I will lose my powers, so I’m going to revel in picking my teeth in their presence, asking them questions about Napoleon that I know they can’t answer, and starting each sentence with “when I was your age”. The Dark Side must be balanced eventually, but not just yet.