Power Rangers, Best Friends & Finding Hope in Hard Times

power rangers best friends finding hope

You guys. YOU GUYS! Check it out — my son’s first ever lunch note! < beams with fatherly pride >

A little context

I’m writing this on a plane to San Diego for the Dad 2.0 Summit, where I’ll be for the next four days. I left at the butt crack of dawn, so didn’t have time to do a proper lunch note. “Proper” meaning the notes I make for my 7-year-old on the daily since he first set foot in school; meaning the Red Turbo Power Ranger he had requested I make for his best friend.

“O” (the bestie) is awesome… and also a big fan of mine (probably a big part of what makes him so awesome). He greets me at the door on occasion as “Designer Daddy;” and we’ve made tentative plans for an art lesson. O loves to draw, write notes, and make books for his friends.

He’s also a sweet, sensitive kid, and thus sometimes gets his feelings hurt. Especially when his best friend is being a butthead.

Yesterday afternoon, my kid was a butthead to his friend. I found this out during the hour-long meeting with their teacher. More about that in a minute.

Last night when I told Jon I wouldn’t be able to make the Red Turbo Power Ranger note until next week, he initially was bummed. But then he turned pensive, then perked up…

I can make the note! …And that way you can stay on schedule!”

I certainly appreciated his concern for my “publishing” regimen, but I was even more pleased at the idea of Jon doing this nice thing for his friend. I thought of how much O likes my notes, and how much he likes my son, and I figured this would just about make his day. I told Jon this was a great idea — and a good way to apologize for being a butthead. I told him to ask Papa to use my Sharpies and Post-It’s the next morning.

So as I waited to board my flight, Papa sent a photo of Jon’s inaugural SuperLunchNote, which sent a big smile across my face and a hearty chuckle from my belly. I loved the detail of the helmet (indicating the Turbo iteration of Rangers) and the telltale big-ass gun; but it was the “You can do it” that made me beam the brightest.

A little more context

As my plane climbed into the sky, I started thinking about this note and its message of Mighty Morphin’ admonition. And about that hour-long teacher conference I mentioned. And the phone call with the school counselor I have later on today.

Since late September, my son has changed schools, moved into a new house, and graduated to a more advanced level in taekwondo. Over the winter break his first grade teacher had a baby — so now he has a new teacher as well. Whether it’s all of this change, a growth spurt, or just the cycle of the moon, Jon’s been struggling both at home and at school in ways we haven’t seen up until now.

As a result, I’m experiencing greater frustration, and a greater desperation to help my son. The meetings with the teacher and counselor are just the first of several solutions we’re exploring, but I realize nothing is a quick fix — and this further deepens my sense of helplessness.

While I’m beyond proud of Jon for creating this note for his friend, I’m also taking its message to heart myself. The message that Papa and I can indeed “do it” — maneuver this new parenting obstacle/detour/pothole. It may not be a smooth or straight path, but we’ll figure it out. And succeed in time to face the next challenge.

power rangers finding hope in hard times
Best friends striking their best Power Rangers pose.

I hope Jon hears the messsage for himself, too. Amid the feelings of frustration, insecurity, apathy — or whatever else might be going through his shaggy head — I hope he can once again find the confidence to be bold and daring. Not just when he’s playing Power Rangers, but even when he’s facing down the monsters in his nightmares or a long school day or the seemingly unending demands put upon him by his parents.

You can do it, buddy. And we’re right here with you every step of the way.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

P.S. I’m unclear about the little squiggly thing below Mr. Ranger. Is it a space bug? Some turbo rays? The Chinese symbol for “awesome sauce?” I’ll let you know when I find out.

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For more fun & conversation, visit and like Designer Daddy on Facebook. To see new lunch notes every school day, follow me on Instagram.

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