Steven’s Dad Is Really Kind Of Rad, I Know It Might Be Bad But All I Am Is Steven’s Dad

Steven Universe has a devoted fandom, and people choose their favorite character: the unflaggingly bright Steven, cool-yet-tough Garnet, the keenly broken Pearl, boisterous Amethyst.

And once again, I have fallen for my type:

Steven’s Dad.

He’s one of only two main characters in the Steven Universe who’s got no magical powers – and unlike Connie, the gem powers freak him out.  He’s not cool – well, not any more.  He’s scared a lot, uncertain, doing his best.

And just like Finn in Star Wars and Sokka in Avatar: the Last Airbender, I am rooting for Steven’s Dad so hard that I tear up sometimes.

Because none of these guys, mundane and outpowered as they are, will ever back down when it comes to protecting the people they love.

Look, I get if you wanna power-trip and pretend to be the Jedi Knight or the immortal Gem guardian or the waterbender.  But me?  I don’t have those powers.  I’m barely mortal; my mental illnesses chip away at my sanity, and some days I break under the pressure.  I’d like to believe that I was some crazy superhero, but in truth I’m so fallible, stumbling confused through life that the dream seems unreal to me.

But Steven’s Dad?

He’s got nothing.  The man lives in a van outside of the car wash.  He’s frequently foolish and needy.  He has zero powers.  Yet every time someone he loves needs him to be a hero, every time, the man steps up.  Every time he’s asked to choose between cruelty and caring, the man chooses compassion.

He’s stronger than any of the gems give him credit for, except his wife, who gave herself up for her son.  And he’s incomplete without her, yet he perseveres.

He doesn’t want much.  But what he wants, he is relentless in fighting for.

And that’s me.  I don’t have superpowers.  I wasn’t a gifted writer when I started out.  I just didn’t know how to stop.  And some days I look at all the Gems surpassing me, these brilliant glowing talents, these beautiful creators who seem gifted with a sanity I never had.

I’m still in there, though.

I’m flailing.  I’m uncertain.  Sometimes I make a fool of myself.

But I will not stop.

And I see Steven’s Dad, and Sokka, and Finn, and they have no reason to be here.  The universe was not made for them.  They didn’t get the cool powers.  They didn’t get to have people’s jaws drop when they revealed their secret magic.

But Steven’s Dad, and Sokka, and Finn, and me: we’ll make our own magic.  We prove our worth by continuing to exist.  We prove our worth by not becoming bitter.  We prove our worth by rejecting envy, by standing tall with love, by supporting the people we can support with whatever strength we have.

I am Steven’s Dad.  And I will sing my song for Steven.

1 Comment

  1. McKaskle
    Mar 4, 2016

    I adore that cartoon. I want to say more, but nothing feels intelligent. Suffice to say, I love seeing people I admire loving the things I love.

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