I think that my wife’s favorite thing about U2 is the relationship between Bono and his wife, Ali, and I really can’t blame her. It’s romantic, how they’ve known each other all these years and managed to make the relationship last and work despite the false starts that they suffered through at the beginning. They’ve got four beautiful children, some of which are just creeping into adult-hood, all of which seem to enjoy close, healthy relationships with their parents.
His daughter Eve is dating actor James Lafferty, from the popular show One Tree Hill, and my wife and I joke sometimes about the hazing that Bono and his band-mates probably give the younger man. “First, you stole our song title, now you’re going after my daughter?!?” I wonder if Bono’s kids are close to their “Uncle Edge”, or if they’re too busy trying to make their own way in the world to have time for their “old man’s” friends. I’ve never been close with the members of my own family, and I’ve had more than my own share of screwed up, failed romantic entanglements. For a long time, I used to view the “family man” portion of Bono’s persona as something that I respected and admired, but couldn’t relate to at all.
Now that I’m getting older, I’m starting to recognize the value of familial relationships. I’m married to a wonderful woman who supports me and is patient with me, but who keeps me on the straight and narrow at the same time, a lot like what I imagine Ali does for Bono. I talk to my mom on a fairly regular basis, and I think about how Bono probably still wishes, even all these years later, that he could give his mom a ring on the phone, just to chat. Now that I’m learning to appreciate my family, I’m grateful that my hero has provided a blueprint of such decency relative normalcy, on how to treat them, and to be a good husband and son.