My son, Emanuel, asked me an interesting question the other day. "Mom," he said, "Wouldn't you rather have me as a sidekick instead of a son that you have to take care of?" My immediate response was to assure him that I love having him as a son and I wouldn't trade that in for anything, even a responsibility free relationship based on palling around together. And I felt guilty for awhile after that, wondering if indeed I give off a vibe that communicates a desire to fold in the mom cards and run away to Paris, Rio, or Topeka, Kansas.
Son as sidekick. This is an interesting idea though. It made me think. If Emanuel were my sidekick, he would hang out with me and we would crack jokes and do things together. And he would feed himself and buy his own clothing...I wouldn't concern myself with his schooling or transportation to events. It wouldn't matter to me what time he got up in the morning or what time he went to bed at night. We would have no other responsibility than to amuse one another, like that lovable television duo of Laverne and Shirley. But as I think more about it, I realize that Laverne was Shirley's sidekick as much at Shirley was Laverne's sidekick. Emanuel as my sidekick, ok. Me as Emanuel's sidekick? That doesn't work for me. Time to consult Wikipedia.
"A sidekick is a stock character, a close companion who assists a partner in a superior position. Don Quixote's Sancho Panza, Sherlock Holmes' Doctor Watson, and Batman's companion Robin are some well-known sidekicks in fiction."
The sidekick shows up to support the hero. The relationship is not reciprocal.
Perhaps I dismissed Emanuel's idea too soon. It actually seems like it could be a pretty good deal for me.
Here is how it would work. My role would be as the partner in the superior position. I like this. Emanuel's role would be that of an assistant who would lend contrasting skills to the relationship and to provide a comic element. This is good, too. So, I would have the ability to fly, see through solid objects and reverse carbon emissions, and Emanuel would have the ability to make toast by holding bread between his hands.
Here is another thing about sidekicks. It seems that they often act buffoonish in order to make the hero appear smarter. I like this too. The funny bit that would recur in our relationship would be when Emanuel burns the toast and howls, "Owwwww!" as he drops it and jumps around in pain.
I like the idea of appearing smarter. In fact, this whole sidekick proposition is starting to sound better and better....
It sure beats moving to Topeka, Kansas, anyway.
Disclaimer- No offense intended towards Topeka, Kansas or any of its residents. The concluding remark in this piece was a cheap attempt to provide a punch line because I couldn't find a good way to wrap up my writing neatly. Topeka, Kansas is an upstanding town, with hard working people and exceptional strip malls.
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