Late Bloomer: Fatherhood Lessons from the film The Mule

I recently saw the film The Mule. Very good movie but what stuck out to me the most was its theme on fatherhood. The Mule follows a 90 year old, horticulturist who’as business is foreclosed on and so he begins a very profitable journey running drugs for the Cartel.

Earl is completely alone at the beginning. His granddaughter is the only member of his family that will talk to him. This was his in. His way back to his family’s good graces where they slowly began talking to him after he made the effort to connect.

What was Earl’s problem? He was a disconnected father who abandoned his family to work on his public image and the flowers he loved more than his own life.

Late Bloomer

This struggle is a human struggle and a relevant struggle for our day and age. Our society values financial growth instead of personal growth. It sends the message that its better to be soulless than poor. Please, lets fight this message together.

Fathers! it is easy to lose sight of your family because of the need to build financial wealth but take it from Earl. It isn’t worth it. You may be reading this and think “Well duh, I love my family.” I want to make the point that just loving them isn’t enough. A dad loving his family and being present is what it takes for a family to make it through. Providing too but being fully present when you are with them is key.

Don’t be a late bloomer!

A late bloomer consists of a father with the potential to be a great dad but isn’t. Instead, they wait until its too late to reconcile before putting in the effort. Even then, there’s no guarantee they will be given the chance to bloom.

It’s your life. Take control. if things are strained now, talk about it with a professional or friend or read about how you can make a difference in your own journey of being dad.

The Love of My Life and the Pain of My Life

The Mule 1.jpg

At one point in the movie, Earl is having an intimate conversation with his ex-wife. She is forgiving him for not being there for years during their marriage since he is here now in her time of need. Her quote “You are the love of my life and the pain of my life.”

A goal for a family is to be flexible with one another and to teach and to learn from each person. Also, the love should be shared and plentiful. We are to teach our kids valuable life skills so that they can flourish out in the world without the need for us in their daily life.

There is no time to be the pain in your family’s life. It ruins its structure and even when it feels like it is impossible to change, it isn’t. I’m here to tell you there’s another way to be.

It’s up to you to avoid being the pain and turmoil in your family’s life if you find yourself in this position now. Take a moment to honestly reflect how your family feels about you. If there are concerns now know that they wont dissipate without you intervening.

If you would like to find a new way, I’m here to help. Email me if I could be a resource to you. My info is below.

Dad Enthusiast, Dad Therapist Ryan Plasch would love to be of service to you.  He can be contacted at or by clicking here.