I’m Batman: Part Two

As I suggested previously, Batman has been a significant presence in the lives of my sons and me. It’s fair to say the boys grew up with Batman. Now Sean’s seven-year-old son, Evan, is living the legacy. When Evan gets a little older, I suspect he’ll appreciate this story about his Dad and his Uncle Quinn.

One morning, the boys and I were sitting at the breakfast table. I sat at one side of the small, square table. Sean sat on the side to my right. Quinn sat on the side to my left. At the time, Sean was in third grade. Quinn was in first grade.

Since Sean had already become a prolific reader, even at that young age, he’d finished reading the Great Illustrated Classics version of Frankenstein the night before. Since he’d also become remarkably perceptive (in my humble, fatherly estimation), he was talking about what he’d derived from the book, particularly the relationship between Victor and the monster he’d created.

“It seems like Victor and the monster are opposite personalities,” Sean said. “Victor is the lighter side. And the monster is the darker side.”

As Sean talked, Quinn sat, head down, seemingly consumed in consuming a bowl of Cheerios.

Blown away that a third-grader would have discerned what Sean discerned, I said, “Wow. That’s amazing, buddy. You’re right. And when you get older, maybe when you’re in high school or college, a teacher’s likely to suggest they’re actually the same personality — light and dark reflected in the same person.”

Lifting his head slowly as if he’d suffered our inanity as long as he possibly could, Quinn looked across the table at Sean and me, the expression on his face suggesting he was in the presence of a couple of hopeless partial-fills and quite pained about it.

“Ya mean like Bruce Wayne is Batman?” he asked, making no attempt to conceal his exasperation with and his impatience for his dim-witted tablemates.

As Quinn lowered his head to resume the consumption of his Cheerios, Sean and I looked at each other, put in our places, and duly humbled by the little man across the table.

On second thought, I don’t know if I want Evan to know this story. He probably has a pretty solid opinion of what his Dad’s all about already. But I’d like it to be a while longer before he comes to the realization that his Grandpa O’Brien has a dense streak as wide as Batman’s cape.

If anyone’s looking for me, I’ll be in the Batcave, re-reading Frankenstein.


Mark O'Brien
Mark O'Brien
I’m a business owner. My company — O’Brien Communications Group (OCG) — is a B2B brand-management and marketing-communication firm that helps companies position their brands effectively and persuasively in industries as diverse as: Insurance, Financial Services, Senior Living, Manufacturing, Construction, and Nonprofit. We do our work so well that seven of the companies (brands) we’ve represented have been acquired by other companies. OCG is different because our business model is different. We don’t bill by the hour or the project. We don’t bill by time or materials. We don’t mark anything up. We don’t take media commissions. We pass through every expense incurred on behalf of our clients at net. We scope the work, price the work, put beginning and end dates on our engagements, and charge flat, consistent fees every month for the terms of the engagements. I’m also a writer by calling and an Irish storyteller by nature. In addition to writing posts for my company’s blog, I’m a frequent publisher on LinkedIn and Medium. And I’ve published three books for children, numerous short stories, and other works, all of which are available on Amazon under my full name, Mark Nelson O’Brien.

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    • Thank you, Laura. We seem to have formed a Mutual Excellent Read Society of two. 😉

      I just finished reading and commenting on “Faith” on LinkedIn. Here’s hoping we both retain our faith and keep writing.

    • I hope so also, Mark. As you said yesterday, maybe it is more about losing hope vs. losing faith. I’d like to retain both, however. Although some days it is hard.

      You should know that often my nudge to write comes from something you wrote to me before: ”write one true sentence.” So, when I’m having a difficult time writing or even attempting to write, I say that to myself, and I at least have one sentence done.

      Thank you for that sage advice, Mark. Here’s hoping we both continue to write.

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