Revisiting Calvin and Hobbes

For much of the last six years, P’s bedtime routine has been two (11-minute) episodes of Adventure Time followed by quiet hangout time in a dark bedroom. Recently, though, I’ve added something to that—10-20 pages of the best comic strip ever drawn: Calvin and Hobbes.

P and I have completed Scientific Progress Goes Boink, Revenge of the Baby Sat, The Essential Calvin and Hobbes, and The Lazy Sunday Book (P’s favorite). We’re about 50 pages into Attack of the Deranged Mutant Killer Monster Snow Goons now.

Calvin’s six years old. P is six years old.

Calvin is a picky eater. P is a picky eater.

Calvin is really into dinosaurs, airplanes, space, and having fun. So is P.

I’ll be damned if Watterson didn’t nail ME, too. There’s something kinda magical about reading your favorite childhood books to your own child and realizing the author gave you a look into your own future 30 years prior.

calvin and hobbes bedtime sleeping parents
15 October 1990: Bill Watterson gives me a glimpse 30 years into the future.

“We all have different desires and needs, but if we don’t discover what we want from ourselves and what we stand for, we will live passively and unfulfilled. Sooner or later, we are all asked to compromise ourselves and the things we care about. We define ourselves by our actions. With each decision, we tell ourselves and the world who we are. Think about what you want out of this life, and recognize that there are many kinds of success.” — Bill Watterson (HT: Valeria Maltoni, 2012)

I love reading Calvin and Hobbes to my 6-year old daughter. She doesn’t understand all the big words, but she understands much of what goes on. And I particularly like how much she identifies with Calvin as a person—right up until he starts talking about G.R.O.S.S.. Haha.

There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want.

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  1. It was one of my favorites too. I remember my dad buying me “Scientific Progress Goes Boink” at some random bookstore when I was a kid. We were going to see a movie, but had to kill some time before the showtime. I can’t remember what movie we saw, but I remember buying the book to this day.
    I’ve found that doing things you did as a kid with your own kids is like unlocking the full experience of something in your past, for now you get to see it not just from your young perspective, but also from the experience of your own parent now that you are one. It’s truly one of the best gifts.

    • Yeah, it’s a pretty incredible experience. That’s for sure.

      So much of my life as a parent aligns to what I see the parents doing in Calvin and Hobbes. The other night, we referred to eggplant parmesan as “fancy noodles”. I haven’t seen the kid ask for seconds in a long time. #spiderpie

      Good to see you surfacing, man. We’re keeping the lights on for you.

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