Like Looking into the Face of God: The Parenting Experience, as Told in Mister Miracle

Becoming a parent is awesome. 4

It’s true in both the modern sense of the word, as well as its older meaning. It is an amazing experience, that is everything you thought it would be: Joyous, full of wonder and love. But at the same time it is also incredibly awe-inspiring. The feeling of being part of something so much bigger than yourself, of finding out that you knew nothing about what love is until your child was born. It fills you with wonder, but it will also fill you with dread.

Because you suddenly have this little being, this fragile little thing, that you have to take care of, to nourish and nurture. You have to – you want to – take care of it, to make sure it’s happy, that it has everything it needs, that it grows up safe and develops into its own fulfilled, happy and capable person.

At the same time there’s this dread looming over everything. Almost simultaneously with you being filled with love for your child, you’re also filled with fear that something will happen to it. When our daughter, Maia, was born, I don’t think my girlfriend or I fully relaxed at all for the first year. The number of things that can go wrong is so staggeringly high, that it’s almost impossible to relax. You can drop the baby, it can choke on something, fall, get seriously ill, just die in its sleep for no discernible reason 5 and a million other things. Obviously the odds of this happening are ridiculously small, but they do exist. You’re able to push those thoughts to the very back of your mind, but ever so often, they pop back up, seemingly out of nowhere.

Tom King, Mitch Gerads and Clayton Cowles’ Mister Miracle and the birth of my daughter are closely linked in my mind. Issue 4 came out two days after her birth and issue 12 came out eight days after her first birthday. I actually bought and read the fourth issue online at the hospital, with her lying next to me, not even a full two days old. The series was already resonating with me, both because it is such a great, expertly told story, but also because of how it deals with depression, something I’m all too familiar with. 6 

Seeing this subject dealt with in a superhero comic struck a chord with me. Seeing a superhero struggle with many of the same things that I’ve struggled with made me feel better in a lot of ways. If Mister Miracle, a (new) god, could suffer from depression, then it felt more okay that I had also struggled with it. My own depression was never anywhere near as bad as Scott Free’s. I was never suicidal or even close to it. But the feeling of emptiness, of everything seeming pointless, of just floating through life… It was very relatable. Having a life you’d only previously dreamt of, an amazing woman by your side that you love and who loves you, but everything still feeling wrong, empty and pointless. And blaming yourself, because life is so good, so there must be something wrong and even more frustratingly, something wrong with you. You must have been infected by the Anti-Life equation. You have to escape.

This is not an easy thing to do.

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  1. Darkseid is.

  2. Sudden infant death syndrome is a real and incredibly scary thing, unlikely as it is. Darkseid is.

  3. Myself, my brother-in-law and my dad have all suffered from it, to varying degrees.

  4. Darkseid is.

  5. Sudden infant death syndrome is a real and incredibly scary thing, unlikely as it is. Darkseid is.

  6. Myself, my brother-in-law and my dad have all suffered from it, to varying degrees.