Parenthood and the Punisher

“This is what it’s all about,” I said to myself the other day as I watched my wife play with my baby daughter. Everything that’s important to me was pretty much, in that moment, right there in front of me.

“In fact,” I thought, “if the mafia were to kill these two right now, I could see how that would totally destroy my life and drive me to turn to revenge as my lone source of purpose.”

I was drawing, of course, from the origin story of the Punisher, one of the Marvel universe’s darkest and most tortured antiheroes. God forbid I should follow the same path, and it’s certainly unlikely that I will. But in that moment, I could fully and finally understand the utter devastation in the Punisher’s heart.

“I guess this is what it feels like to be a mature adult,” I thought. Which is total nonsense, of course, because we’re talking about a man who defines his deepest relationships and responsibilities in terms of a comic book he read when he was a kid. But still, you know? Powerful, powerful stuff.

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