A girl-dad story
I played Ninja’s at the park with my friends today, Daddy.
Oh, really? That’s great. Did you know that Daddy used to be a Ninja?
(Trying to strike up a conversation about my martial arts background so as to impress my 4-year-old daughter as I braid her hair before bed.)
A real ninja?
Yyyyyeah, a real ninja.
(Some hesitancy in my voice knowing that I trained in Aikido, which is about the least bad-ass martial art out there. We didn’t wear ninja uniforms. We wore baggy black pants that resembled skirts. Although, on second thought, that’s kinda bad-ass in and of itself, it’s too complex of an angle to take with a preschooler…)
What kind of ninja, Daddy?
Well, I was more of a samurai than a ninja.
(Trying to back-pedal and justify the skirts — the hakama — because they’re part of Samurai culture, but it’s not really working.)
Oh, well, I’m a ninja. And I hit real.
Weeelll, Rory, we don’t hiiiit. *Dad voice*
(I wanted to say how, instead, we blend and redirect, but — never mind. I’m so not-cool right now. I start to realize the stark reality that my dadness has killed every last shred of whatever coolness I had before.)
We hit, kick, and run away. Like, yyyyah!
Wow, Rory, that’s pretty powerful. A lot of fury there. That’s good. You’re just playing, though, right? You don’t actually hurt people?
(My coolness is done. Gone. Ugh…)
Yeah, it’s a game. But it’s a game that I win.
I’m a hard ninja.
A hard ninja?
Yeah, like a rock. Hiiiiiyyyah!
(Wow. A hard ninja. So boss. I’ve never been this cool.)
Right on. Which color pony tail do you want? Pink or blue?
You got it.
Jonas Ellison is a writer who blogs through his life over at Higher Thoughts, one of the most popular single-author publications on Medium. Subscribe to his daily-ish missives and musings at JonasEllison.com